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May 2015 President’s Letter

Malvin Whang, AIAI don’t know this for a fact, but it seems like the economy is picking up again. It’s anecdotal, but the number of inquiries for staff seems to have gone up and is the topic of many conversations at chapter events. If true, this is a good thing. We all remember all too well our last dip, the Great Recession, and how it impacted all of us.

In 2008 I was working on a project that was finishing up a permit set. Two weeks before completing the set, I was told to put pencils down and submit invoices because the client was unsure if they could fund the last two weeks of work. We had projects go on hold mid construction and the plastic protection stayed up for nine months while funding was secured. The firm I was with went from somewhere north of 500 staff down to 240 in a couple of years. The worst part was, no one could tell where the bottom was. It was a dark time for the profession as we grappled with the new normal work levels and conditions.

Fast forward to today and days seem brighter again. There’s work to be done – lots of work to be done. There seem to be construction cranes everywhere you look. Inquiries for projects seem to be coming in at a frenetic pace. It’s the new normal of our profession in 2015 and the outlook seems to be good.

Competition for staff seems to be heating up and good people are hard to find again. The chapter continues to support and roll with the punches as our members do. We continue to be the major career resource with the job board and resume bank. The staff is spending more time on postings and inquiries and they are a tremendous resource for insights for both job seekers and practices alike. The chapter recently hosted a resume workshop for the emerging professionals and students and was well attended.

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