F&V Makes Work Time Flexible

When Phil Smith explored the prospect of working for Fleis & VandenBrink (F&V), he wondered how company leaders would react to a request to duck out of work for a couple hours in the middle of the day to catch one of his children’s school activities.

The response from the company’s HR director sold him on an information technology job with the Michigan-based engineering and architecture firm.

“I told him, ‘You’re going to miss a lot of family times and kid events over the course of your lifetime, but your job won’t be the reason for it,’” Human Resources Director Al Wiltse said. “That’s the culture here.”

“We have a family-friendly environment, a lot of growth opportunity, and recognize jobs well done – both in the form of compensation and personal recognition.”

Having grown its workforce by one-third over the past two years, F&V is continuing to hire professionals at many of its nine offices: a civil engineer is needed in Midland, for example, and an architect in Grand Rapids.

Here’s a full list of current openings.

The employee-owned, multi-discipline firm has nearly 200 employees including engineers, architects, water resource specialists, landscape architects, geologists, environmental scientists, surveyors, GIS specialists, inspectors, field technicians, construction managers, professional emergency managers (PEMs), operations specialists, administrative support and IT pros like Smith.

For years, F&V has been ranked as one of West Michigan’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For because of its exceptional human resource practices and employee commitment. One of the company’s core principles is to value and empower employees.

“We offer lots of room for personal and professional growth,” Marketing Coordinator Kendall Beck said. “We continue to evolve to meet the needs of our clients, which creates opportunities for our staff. As your career develops, you can find a home here.”

Civil engineers Larry Fleis and Steve VandenBrink started F&V in 1993, and the firm since has expanded across Michigan and into Indiana. As the scope of business evolves, and the opportunity for employees increases, the firm’s founding principles remain the compass that guides company culture.

Smith, the IT manager, was looking for a workplace “where you can really get your hands into everything and there’s no limitation.” He already feels empowered, and enjoys dealing with new challenges each day.

“I feel like my opinion counts, which is amazing considering how short a time I have been here,” Smith said.

As for the work-life balance embedded in Fleis & VandenBrink culture, it’s true for Smith. He felt supported when he left early for a personal event his second day on the job.

“There have been some kid events (at a previous job) that I missed just not being able to break away from the office,” Smith said. “What I have experienced at F&V so far, is very friendly people and a laid-back environment.”