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Weekly Briefing: May 8-12, 2023

Week of May 8, 2023

EFCG held our 14th Annual HR Leadership Conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts on May 9-10, 2023. The Conference brought together over 100 HR leaders from across the AEC industry to discuss key topics and trends impacting firms today. The Conference kicked off with EFCG's Industry Overview presentation, followed by panel and breakout sessions on the topics of: Maximizing the C-Suite Relationship, the Tech & Talent Relationship, ESG Strategies, DEI Strategies, Compensation, Leadership Training & Development, Post-Merger Integration & Culture Change, and Total Rewards & Benefits. EFCG would like to thank everyone who attended this year's HR Leadership Conference (both in-person and virtually), as well as our sponsor, CareerSmith, for their continued partnership!

Registration is now open for EFCG's 2024 HR Leadership Conference, which will be held May 16-17, 2024 at the Four Seasons in Nashville, Tennessee. Additionally, don't forget to register for our 2023 Benefits & Total Rewards Forum taking place on June 21, 2023, in Fairfax, Virgina. Space is limited for both events so make sure to secure your spot before they sell out!

For questions regarding EFCG's HR Leadership Conference or the Benefits & Total Rewards Forum, please reach out to Dimitri Milionis (

White House to Mark Infrastructure Week 18 Months After Signing of Bipartisan Law

  • Since becoming law a year and a half ago, President Joe Biden's infrastructure package has led to 32,000 projects announced across 4,500 communities, totaling $220 billion in planned spending, according to the White House.

  • The Biden administration released the updated figures on Friday ahead of "Infrastructure Week," a moment on the calendar that is also Biden's punchline to mock former President Donald Trump's inability to pass a bipartisan infrastructure law when he was in office.

  • Mitch Landrieu, White House senior adviser and infrastructure coordinator, said the infusion of projects from Biden's $1.2 trillion infrastructure law − including roads, bridges, railways, broadband internet and electric car charging stations − is "arguably bigger than what happened in the New Deal," referring to Franklin D. Roosevelt's signature public works programs in the 1930s.


E.P.A. Proposes First Limits on Climate Pollution From Existing Power Plants

  • On Thursday, the Biden administration announced the first regulations to limit greenhouse pollution from existing power plants, capping an unparalleled string of climate policies that, taken together, could substantially reduce the nation’s contribution to global warming. The proposals are designed to effectively eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s electricity sector by 2040.

  • The regulations governing power plants come on the heels of other Biden administration plans to cut tailpipe emissions by speeding up the country’s transition to electric vehicles, to curb methane leaks from oil and gas wells and to phase down the use of a planet-warming chemical in refrigerants.

  • Together with the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, which is pouring more than $370 billion into clean energy programs, the actions would catapult the United States to the forefront of the fight to constrain global warming.

  • “We are in the decisive decade for climate action, and the president’s been clear about his goals in this space, and we will meet them,” Mr. Biden’s senior climate adviser, Ali Zaidi, said in a telephone call with reporters on Wednesday.


White House Calls on Congress to Pass Permit Reform Bill

  • The Biden administration is pushing for Congress to approve legislation that would speed up the sometimes yearslong federal permitting process to build energy infrastructure, and has outlined a set of provisions it wants to see in those measures.

  • In remarks at a May 10 Bipartisan Policy Council event in Washington, D.C., John Podesta, White House senior adviser for clean energy innovation and implementation, said: “These delays are pervasive at every level of government—federal, state and local." He added, "We got so good at stopping projects, we forgot how to build things in America.”

  • Podesta announced that on May 10, seven federal agencies, along with the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council and the White House, signed a memorandum of understanding “to put electric transmission permitting on a fast track.”


Corps Lays Out Multi-Pronged Plan to Cope With Rising Project Costs

  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is taking a variety of steps to grapple with the problems and keep work on the path to completion, due to the impact of worker shortages and increased materials costs on its projects.

  • Testifying at a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on May 3, Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon, U.S. Army Chief of Engineers, noted that the Corps program, which includes civil works, military construction, and other activities, now totals $92 billion—"the largest we’ve ever seen.”

  • Michael Connor, assistant Army secretary for civil works, told the committee that about a decade ago, the Corps had about 37,000 employees and a total program of $37 billion. Despite the mission growth, its workforce has only grown to about 38,000. "It's quite the challenge," Connor said.

May 5, 2023

Dillon Consulting Limited (Dillon), a Canada-based, employee-owned professional consulting firm specializing in planning, management, engineering, and environmental science, has acquired Internat Energy Solutions Canada (IESC), a Canada-based engineering consulting firm with a focus on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and greenhouse gas reduction strategies. Sean Hanlon, CEO of Dillon, commented: “We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of IESC, a leading energy management firm that will allow us to expand our offerings and accelerate the energy transition and decarbonization for our clients. We have collaborated with IESC for several years and witnessed their remarkable expertise and experience in implementing sustainable solutions. Our values are aligned, and we are excited to join forces and deliver solutions that enable our clients to achieve their decarbonization and energy transition objectives. With this acquisition, we are poised to meet the growing demand and need for sustainable solutions, and we look forward to the exciting opportunities ahead.”


May 5, 2023

H.W. Lochner, Inc. (Lochner), an Illinois-based provider of transportation infrastructure planning and engineering services, has acquired K Friese + Associates (KFA), a Texas-based civil engineering consulting firm providing water/wastewater, drainage, transportation, aviation, and municipal services to a diverse range of public sector clients in large and small communities throughout Texas. “We are excited to welcome our new colleagues from KFA,” said Lochner’s Board Chairman and CEO, Terry Ruhl. “As Lochner expands its business in one of the nation’s fastest growing states, the partnership with KFA enables us to establish and grow water and drainage services as a core component of our infrastructure platform; enhance our highway, bridge, aviation and transit and rail service offering; and diversify our client base to include municipal-oriented organizations in Texas, and beyond.”


May 8, 2023

GEI Consultants, Inc. (GEI), a Massachusetts-based consulting engineering firm that provides geotechnical, environmental, water resources, civil design, and construction services and platform company of Global Infrastructure Solutions Inc. (GISI), has acquired GM BluePlan, a Canada-based engineering, management, and technology consulting company. GM BluePlan provides full life cycle engineering services, and their experts work with their clients through each stage of infrastructure planning, asset management, design, construction, and operations and maintenance management. “The combination of GM BluePlan with GEI Canada creates one of Ontario’s leading employee-owned firms,” says Peter Ventin, GEI’s Regional Leader in Canada. “The added geographic breadth and complementary services, combined with GM BluePlan’s nationally recognized expertise in asset management and infrastructure planning, further GEI’s growth and expansion in Canada.”


May 9, 2023

Colliers Engineering & Design, a New Jersey-based provider of multi-discipline engineering, design, and consulting services to public and private sector clients, has acquired HILGARTWILSON, LLC (HILGARTWILSON), an Arizona-based engineering, planning, and survey firm. The acquisition of HILGARTWILSON will enhance Colliers Engineering & Design’s scale and capabilities and expand its footprint into the fast-growing Arizona market. “This new partnership creates a solid investment in realizing strategic growth opportunities for both HILGARTWILSON and Colliers Engineering & Design, along with our employees and clients,” said Ron Hilgart, PE, Co-Founder and Managing Principal of HILGARTWILSON. “There is tremendous potential in Arizona and the surrounding areas and now, we’re now even better positioned to serve our clients.”


May 9, 2023

Davis & Floyd, Inc. (Davis & Floyd), a South Carolina-based engineering firm focusing on construction engineering & inspection, environmental, government, industrial, private development, stormwater, surveying, transportation, and water/wastewater projects, has acquired Andrews Engineering Company, Inc. (Andrews Engineering), a South Carolina-based engineering firm specializing in civil engineering, surveying, land planning, and construction management. The acquisition is part of Davis & Floyd’s strategic plan to expand its capabilities and services in the coastal region of South Carolina. According to Stephen Davis, Chairman & CEO at Davis & Floyd, “We are thrilled to welcome Andrews Engineering to the Davis & Floyd family. The team at Andrews has built a strong reputation in the Lowcountry for delivering innovative engineering solutions that meet the unique needs of its clients. This acquisition will allow us to expand our reach in the region and better serve our collective clients.”


May 10, 2023

Pinchin Ltd. (Pinchin), a Canada-based multi-disciplinary engineering and environmental consulting firm serving the commercial real estate, government, and industrial markets, has acquired Ransom Consulting LLC (Ransom), a Maine-based multi-disciplinary engineering and environmental firm that serves the commercial real estate, government, and industrial markets, and provides its clients with resilient environmental due diligence and remediation services. “The Ransom acquisition lays the foundation for Pinchin’s expansion into the northeast US market,” noted Jeff Grossi, CEO of Pinchin. “Ransom fits ideally onto the Pinchin platform, extending Pinchin’s presence and supporting our goal to become the predominant North American services provider in the Buildings and Land market for all phases of the real estate lifecycle.”


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