Originally printed in The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead’s ChamberChoice special insert
Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson, Inc. (KL&J) is an employee-owned professional services firm specializing in engineering, surveying, planning and consulting. Their 14 offices span five states and employ over 475 professionals – 67 of whom are in the Fargo and Moorhead offices.
Kris Bakkegard, Fargo Office Manager at KL&J, said employees see their business as helping people maintain their mobility. “We work with a lot of transportation projects. From the streets we drive on to the city’s water and sewer works nobody pays attention to. We make the communities we live and work in better and more efficient,” he explained.
Bakkegard said the KL&J team has done large projects across the state – such as the Four Bears Bridge in Western North Dakota. Some of the most prominent projects the firm has done in the metro area are the Interstate 29 and 52nd Avenue South interchange as well as the University Drive corridor from 40th Avenue South to 52nd Avenue South. The American Council of Engineering Companies of North Dakota awarded the City of Fargo, NDDOT and KL&J parts of the 52nd Avenue project, which serves as a testament for the community impact and quality of the project.
Moorhead Office Manager, Wade Frank, said he attributes much of the local affiliate’s success to the Fargo-Moorhead community. “People want to live here. It’s a good community. It supports business and it’s somewhere people want to be,” he said. “That’s what I find to be one of the biggest benefits to our company – the Fargo-Moorhead area is a fun place to be.”
The company is dedicated to the long-term development and retention of young professionals. For example, KL&J invests in North Dakota State University through internship opportunities, mentoring, scholarship funds and sponsorships of the alumni association, student groups, Team Makers, and hiring many graduates. This retention along with the growth of the community has provided many opportunities for the firm.
KL&J’s growth of staff supports the local economy. Employees are encouraged to become active members within their communities. They support other local organizations in the area, greatly due to being involved with The Chamber. Being a member of The Chamber allows KL&J to be involved and opens up opportunities for professional growth and relationship building with the business community.
“A chamber membership is an investment to our business. Everyone’s success leads to another person’s success. Even a business like ours supports other businesses. If we do well, others do well,” Frank explained.
KL&J is honored to be named The Chamber’s Business of the Year. “Being recognized by others as a leader in our community is a testament to the connection we hold with the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo area,” Frank said. “Our activism within the community helps support local initiatives and fuels our economy.”