Endi Zhai is a cheerful, charismatic geotechnical engineer who can charm people into doing what he asks. For example, he persuaded top-level transportation officials, mayors, city councils, and some 200 engineers and contractors from several countries to attend the International Chinese Transportation Professionals Association conference, which was held in Los Angeles in May. PHOTO BY Michael Scott Kenney AMID TWO WORLDS: Chinese-Americans like Zhai have become key players in the new world order. Graphic by Justin Reynolds for ENR An ENR special feature. Related Links: Main Story: Where a New Inclusiveness Is Changing the Face of the Construction Industry Minorities
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.