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BUSINESS NEWS AECOM JOINT VENTURE TO PROVIDE ARCHITECTURE AND ENGINEERING SERVICES IN SUPPORT OF U.S. NAVY ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS AECOM, the world’s trusted infrastructure consulting firm, today announced that its joint venture with Michael Baker International has been awarded an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract to provide architecture and engineering services in support of environmental compliance programs with the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command. “We’re proud to continue our 95-year partnership with the U.S. Navy, delivering mission-critical solutions that support its wide-ranging and specialized

needs,” said Karl Jensen, executive vice president of AECOM’s National Governments business. “Every day, our technical experts demonstrate our firmwide commitment to environmental, social, and governance priorities, and we’re excited to team with Michael Baker International to perform this important environmental compliance work with the U.S. Navy.” Under the five-year contract with a $75-million ceiling, the Baker-AECOM Environmental Compliance joint venture will deliver comprehensive services, such as studies, plans, specifications, designs, reports, and cost estimates, for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Department of Defense installations as well as

federal agencies. This work supports NAVFAC’s environmental program and its mission to provide high quality, timely, cost effective, and efficient solutions through conserving, protecting, and restoring the environment and natural and cultural resources for future generations. The contract with NAVFAC Atlantic encompasses four facilities engineering commands: NAVFAC Washington, NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic, NAVFAC Southeast, and NAVFAC Europe Africa Central. NAVFAC manages the planning, design, construction, contingency engineering, environmental, and public works support for U.S. Navy shore facilities around the world.

Our plan included an “encourage” phase, where we encouraged remote staff to begin working one or two days in the office to start the transition from home-as-primary to office- as-primary and ramp up time back in the office. It also allowed staff time to adapt and reset to a new routine and/or schedule for the next phase – the “expected” phase. While we valued the benefits from the in-person collaborative work environment, and that work performance is generally optimal as a face-first firm, we also recognized the benefits to our team members having some flexibility in where they complete their best work, fulfill commitments, and deliver results. The “expected” phase also included rolling out a remote work policy which highlighted work options such as ad-hoc, hybrid, and primary remote. The hybrid working model, where workers split time in the office and home weekly, has been popular with employees. But it’s a challenge getting work done in each department. You need to have the right people in the office to have availability to do the work. Some roles also involve equipment or duties that cannot be done well remotely. Success in developing and maintaining flexible work arrangements requires a shared commitment by both employees and managers. It includes open communication, clear expectations, regular check-ins, and availability. If expectations are not being maintained, then changes in work arrangements are required. Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric, once said, “Change before you have to!” If you do, you’ll most likely come out ahead in the business of tomorrow. Remote work is changing the business world. At F&V, we’re turning this pandemic into a once-in-a- generation opportunity to reimagine howwe do our jobs and howwe run our company. PAUL DAVID, PHR, SHRM-CP, is the human resources director at Fleis & VandenBrink. Contact him at

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in pockets. Nothing compares to the variables at play today that are affecting all positions and industries. The pandemic has affected everyone in the workforce. Baby boomers are exiting at a faster rate than schools can produce technical professionals to replace them, and young professionals are leaving due to personal/family reasons such as limited daycare and/or online schooling for children. We at Fleis & VandenBrink, like many other consulting firms, have come so far in dealing with the ever-changing way of doing business. But we’re still making tweaks to get the best workplace model to retain valued employees, and recruit even more talent. Most companies recognized that as 2021 progressed and OSHA and/or state laws and regulations allowed for employees to return to the office, that employees had adapted their lifestyles to working remotely, and the world of work had changed. Employees seemed content with their home workspaces. Whether it was getting a new pet as your home officemate or welcoming a newborn, the flexibility of working wherever, and – at times – whenever, without cubemates, noises, or interruptions was ideal for a lot of staff. Many employees relished not commuting to work, and in most cases, getting an hour of their day back for themselves. They also savored the opportunity to roll out of bed 20 minutes before starting their day, brewing a cup of coffee, and making themselves presentable from the waist up for Zoom or Teams call. At F&V, we recognized in May of 2021 the need for a reset plan to ease staff back into the office and that individuals would have initial safety and childcare issues/concerns. We also communicated to all employees our belief that we are better as a firm when we are together, in the same place.

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