Investing in our Future

Gary and Cyrus in the Los Angeles Office

By Cyrus Izzo and Gary Brennen, Co-Presidents, Syska

It is an exhilarating time for our industry. From new, hyper-scale data centers to co-location facilities, from higher education to healthcare investment and from burgeoning commercial centers to urban hubs around the country, the AEC industry is firing on all cylinders.

The AEC sector is not immune from the technology-led revolution reinventing every industrial sector. Our industry’s essential challenge is attracting and developing top-tier talent. At a time of widespread growth, it is the right time to up our game; we need greater diversity, more innovative talent, more tech-savvy people, more advanced technical skills and more managers with soft skills, like coaching, leading with courage and communicating clearly.

Our industry needs to excite college interns and graduates, as well as high schoolers, to get them on board about the opportunities in our industry. Then, the real work begins—providing an exciting and dynamic career.

At Syska we have a five-pronged approach:

  • FOSTERING LEADERS: The key skills that make a great engineer and project manager do not necessarily make an inspiring leader. We are partnering with FMI to develop our current and future leaders by following five key leadership qualities critical to driving success going forward.
  • EMPOWERING TALENT: We support a self-directed group of staff with up to 12 years of experience to support professional development, peer-to-peer learning and giving back to local communities.
  • TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE: In addition to supporting our engineers secure their professional qualifications, we provide thousands of hours of technical training that includes a firm-wide review of our most complex client projects.
  • FAST-TRACKING COLLEGE GRADUATES: Our new college recruits are immersed in all facets of the firm and technical departments to accelerate their careers through a two-year Engineer Development Training program.
  • ATTRACTING HIGH SCHOOLERS: As part of the ACE mentorship program, Syska engineers mentor juniors and seniors either at their school or workshops in our offices. It was very inspiring to watch the New York ACE Class of 2017 present a 3D model of a building which they designed in REVIT this past month, and to see them off to contemplate degrees in architecture, construction or engineering.

Today, people have fantastic opportunities to pursue dynamic and rewarding careers. We can do better at attracting and supporting talent into our profession—talent that will create new ways to create exceptional environments.