HOUGHTON - The Michigan Tech Enterprise Corporation SmartZone welcomed its newest tenant with a ceremony Thursday at the Lakeshore Center in Houghton.
The Allen Park, Mich.-based Controltec recently opened a new satellite office in the Lakeshore Center. The company performs in fields such as global vehicle data acquisition systems, custom analysis software, light- and heavy-duty transportation industries and data processing and management.
The Houghton office employs four Michigan Technological University students, who will be working on software projects. That number should double by the end of the year, said Controltec vice president and Michigan Tech alumnus Bill Leisenring.
Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette
The Michigan Tech Enterprise Corporation SmartZone welcomed its newest tenant to the Lakeshore Center Thursday, Allen Park, Mich.-based Controltec. The Houghton office will initially employ four Michigan Technological University students with plans to expand by the end of year.
"These guys are doing real work for us," he said.
Controltec joins a number of large companies such as Ford Motor Company, GE Aviation and Dematic, which have opened offices with the MTEC SmartZone staffed by Michigan Tech students.
An Upper Peninsula native, Leisenring graduated from Gladstone High School in 1991 and Michigan Technological University in 1995.
He later worked at companies including Ford and Chrysler before founding Controltec with company president Dave Ploucha in 2009.
With Controltec, he said, his goal is "taking modern technology, and applying it to a century-old industry."
Back in November, a colleague doing recruiting asked Leisenring to speak at a high school in Rochester, Mich. The trip rekindled his interest in Michigan Tech.
He made a trip to Tech earlier this year for a career fair; the students now working at the satellite office interned in Allen Park over the summer.
"I'm more impressed with these guys than the majority of people I interview for full-time positions at Allen Park," Leisenring said.