Michael L.Sullivan 2015-05-19 02:34:20
The business of engineering is improving. In 2014, engineering firm principals were expressing more confidence about the overall direction of the economy and what it signaled for our industry. Backlogs were up and everyone was busier, yet head counts remained steady at most firms. In 2015, the discussion has moved beyond renewed confidence to talk of expansion and hiring to meet the increasing workload. And that is a very good thing. Of the 12 largest metro regions in the country, Atlanta ranked fifth in the percentage of year-over-year job growth increase. Nationally, the architecture and engineering industry (A/E) has seen 15 straight months of employment growth, from just under 1.36 million total engineers employed in January 2014 to almost 1.42 million as of March 2015. While overall GDP growth has been around three percent, construction growth has increased in 2015 to eight percent, up from six percent in 2014. Private sector growth has led the way, with commercial, office and residential at 12 percent, industrial and manufacturing at 11 percent and energy sector construction at five percent. The most recent quarterly ACEC Engineering Business Index (EBI) survey of 325 leading engineering firm CEOs continues to show high confidence in the direction of the economy and our industry. No one is saying that pre-2008 conditions are returning anytime soon, but firms that have weathered the storms and survived to smoother sailing should be well positioned to reap the rewards of an improving economy. In this issue, we take a look at mergers and acquisitions trends, as entrepreneurial firms looking for proactive expansion opportunities find willing partners in Baby Boomer owners seeking ways to unlock the tremendous value they have built into their firms. Of course, that’s just one M&A scenario. As the economy expands, so do the number of reasons why engineering firms might want to acquire or merge to create a new whole that is worth more than the sum of its parts. We also have a feature on Georgia’s expanding bioscience industry and the $1 billion investment Baxter International is making to build a new facility in Georgia. We highlight how the Georgia BioScience Training Center will be an incubator for even more investment in this growing field. Engineering firms looking for new growth sectors should consider this trend. We are also very honored to feature Jay Roberts, the new Director of Planning for the Georgia Department of Transportation. Jay has been a good friend to our industry in his 12 years in the Georgia General Assembly and will bring a wealth of transportation knowledge to his new role. The business of engineering is more than just the theme of this issue, it’s really the focus of everything Engineering Georgia does. Engineering Georgia was created with the mission of improving the business climate for engineering firms in Georgia and we would love to have your feedback on how we can constantly improve in that mission. This is YOUR magazine and we welcome your thoughts on how we can make Engineering Georgia more valuable to your firm and our industry.
Published by American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia. View All Articles.
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