THUNDER BAY, ON ---- June 17, 2010 ---- Business has been good for Rob and Liana Frenette, President and CFO respectively of TBT Engineering Limited. When the couple took over Thunder Bay Testing in 1995 the company had two employees. To-day the company celebrated the official opening of their new engineering and corporate offices in the former Paterson building, located at 1918 Yonge Street, Thunder Bay.
Since that time the company has grown, and last year they issued about 150 T-4 slips for people who worked for them over the year. About 100 are full time employees, while the remaining fifty or so are part time employees or summer students. Rob Frenette clearly believes in the potential of summer students, especially those whose field of study is useful to his company. “It is important to give students a practical background to go along with their studies” he says. You can follow the progress of the students through the years, and hopefully pick up a first rate employee at the end of the process.
I appreciated comments on students, since recent job reports indicate that jobs for the areas future economy do not yet exist. TBT Engineering and Consulting is the kind of company that can identify an opportunity, find a solution to meet their client’s needs. This is also the same sort of process that will create good jobs for our future economy.
Liana Frenette has said, “While growth is one of our reasons in our decision to buy the Paterson property, our vision has always been to consolidate our operations under one roof. “ That could not have happened at the old location”. She went on to say that this was a once in a lifetime chance to own such a beautiful piece of Thunder Bay’s history.
The park like seven acre setting includes two buildings which have been retrofitted in a green fashion to suit the future needs of the growing engineering firm. The Paterson Foundation will remain as a tenant in the corporate building as a tenant, preserving the rich heritage of the site.
Indeed the richly paneled offices of the executive suite are full of the original ship models of the Paterson fleet, as well as paintings and ship memorabilia from the past. Time after time I asked employees what is like working for TBT Engineering, and they all answered that this a a great and beautiful place to work. Clearly the Frenette’s are doing things right.
The success of the company lies in the regions need for infrastructure repair, and growth opportunities. Naturally surveying of all types is a big part of their business. With road design and engineering comes the need for specialized soil and materials testing, so that the new road is build on a solid foundation, and our bridges will last their expected lifetime.
Often this kind of sampling requires extensive drilling and core sampling. Wither it is a slice from a concrete bridge, or a 200 foot deep soil sample, Herman can get the sample to the lab for testing. Increasingly this kind of engineering service provides clients with the kind of quality control that they need to make good business decisions.
What started as a small two employee company in 1995 has grown to a significant employer in our city. In recent years the company has expanded into Winnipeg Manitoba, so it has become more than just a local company. Rob and Liana Frenette have their site on new growth opportunities in western Canada. Saskatchewan is next.
As this company celebrates their grand opening on a beautiful Thursday afternoon, it is with a strong history of success behind them, and a strong vision of a profit and growth ahead of them. We wish them every success.