Gresham Smith CEO Rodney Chester to Chair ACEC National Workforce Committee

Newly Established Committee to Focus on Pressing Industry Challenges

Gresham Smith, a top-ranked architecture, engineering and planning firm with $328 million in annual gross revenue announced today that CEO and Board Chair Rodney Chester has been selected by American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) to chair its newly established Workforce Committee. The national committee has been formed to address one of the industry’s most pressing challenges—the engineering workforce pipeline. ACEC represents nearly 6,000 firms across the United States.

The committee will focus on three primary areas: New and future workforce, which examines how to best draw talent into the industry and what the future workforce will look like; retaining and developing the current engineering workforce, which encompasses workforce development, retention and diversification; and addressing legislative and policy issues, which can have both positive and negative impacts on the engineering workforce. In addition to his role as Workforce Committee Chair, Chester will chair the Legislative and Regulatory/Policy Workforce subcommittee.

“I’m honored and excited to be chosen to lead the Workforce Committee in its inaugural year,” said Chester. “We have an opportunity to really make a difference for our industry.” Chester, who recently appeared on ACEC’s Engineering Influence podcast, is adamant that a strong culture and engaged, growing workforce go hand-in-glove. “You need to create an environment where people can honestly say that they love where they work,” Chester explained. “But, it’s more than simply having a warm feeling; employees want to understand that their work has purpose and is having a positive impact on their communities and the world at large. We need to communicate to the younger generations that work in the engineering and architectural fields can be very, very rewarding. You’re able see the results of what you do firsthand.”

The committee will help facilitate a multiagency Workforce Summit this spring, which will include multiple organizations from across the engineering industry.