Architecture, Construction, and Human Resources

Engineering firm issues bonuses after tax reform

January 16, 2018
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FTCH headquarters
FTCH celebrates the LEED EB certification of its headquarters in Grand Rapids. Photo via

A local architecture engineering firm has issued bonuses to all of its employees following tax reform.

Grand Rapids-based Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, or FTCH, said yesterday it issued $1,500 bonuses to all 400 of its full- and part-time employees, effective Dec. 29.

Jim Susan, president of FTCH, said the company decided to give out the bonuses as a result of the firm’s tax savings following passage of the federal tax bill on Dec. 22.

“We just decided it was a little windfall for the firm in general, and we decided we would share that with all our staff members,” he said. “Everyone got the same amount, regardless of position.

“It was in keeping with the spirit of the tax cut and trying to move a little more money back into the economy, so we decided for those few reasons we would do that.”

Susan said the company did not pair the bonuses with wage increases.

“We don’t typically do our compensation adjustments until June,” he said. “This would not be a typical timeframe to do wage adjustments.”

He noted that although wages are rising due to competition in the architecture and engineering industry, “we’re looking at our compensation, and we are in line with the industry.”

Susan said he has not heard of any other AE firms issuing bonuses, but those decisions would be made based on the tax structure of each firm.

“Each one has a little different situation,” he said. “They may not even have an immediate tax windfall right now. It may be next year before they realize any of it. Or they could just be planning to do it next year. But we actually got tax savings from doing it now.”

He said FTCH places a high value on its employees.

“We’re a service industry, so our people are front and center in terms of making this firm,” he said. “It fit with our culture in a positive way to do these bonuses.”


Founded in 1956, FTCH provides engineering, architectural, construction and environmental services.

The firm has 10 offices: Grand Rapids; Novi; Lansing; Kalamazoo; Macomb; Detroit; Traverse City; Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; and Lafayette, Indiana.

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