Among the projects in process for Rick are the preliminary engineering plans for the Plaza de Panama project in Balboa Park and the planning and engineering work at the master planned community of Del Sur at Black Mountain Ranch.

Aecom Technical Services, No. 2 on the list, increased its full-time engineering staff by 14. ATS is part of publicly traded Aecom Technology Corp., which has four offices in San Diego. Richard Leja, vice president, says that the increase in staff was a result of reclassifying transient assignments from the previous year.

Evaluation Mode

“There really hasn’t been a significant shift in our total personnel,” Leja said. “What I am seeing, though, is a change in the nature of the work; there are generally more high-level studies and evaluations where a client is in an exploratory mode, considering, but not quite ready to make a move.”

The current projects for ATS include the San Diego International Airport Program Management and the I-15 Managed Corridor Project where they are working on the Mira Mesa Direct Access lanes or DAR (direct access ramp). This ramp will provide a seamless connection for buses and car pools to the I-15 express lanes.

Leja added that there are generally signs of improvement, especially among clients in the public sector. “They’re seeing great prices now and they’re looking to get more for their money. If you have the resources, it’s a good move.”