A flurry of April announcements illustrates how the White House is moving to fill top spots at federal agencies that oversee major construction programs. The designees need Senate confirmation, but the lineup is winning praise from industry officials. At the Dept. of Transportation, Obama’s pick to be under secretary for policy, Roy Kienitz, an aide to Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell (D), “is a person who hasn’t been captured by conventional thinking,” says John Doyle, special counsel for law firm Jones Walker LLP. Doyle was a lead House staffer and Kienitz a key Senate aide in drafting the 1991 Intermodal Surface
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.