As a jobs bill moves through the U.S. Senate, which includes (at least for the moment) a $19.5 billion fund to help state and local governments with highway construction and a tax credit for small businesses that hire the unemployed, I have come up with definitely inconclusive evidence that jobs are returning to California.

See, in just this last week I have received more than a dozen email press releases announcing new hires and promotions, mainly from architectural and engineering firms. Nothing like this has happened in quite some time. Maybe even a few years. Normally, we do get a flow, not steady, of announcements that we use in our personnel sections (Names in the News in California Construction and People in the News in Daily Pacific Builder), and in the past year (at least) it has been tough filling out these sections.

I know this may mean absolutely nothing at all, but in a way it does kind of indicate that firms are hiring a little bit more. Note that I received just one general contractor hiring release in the past week, but what this speaks to is that architectural firms are at least moving ahead with project designs, which will eventually become contractor jobs. Getting projects in the pipeline is what counts.

Here’s a quick look at some of the new hires:
  • Jeff J. Howard and Kosta Mallakis were hired by Parsons Brinckerhoff. Howard is a senior project planner in San Diego and Mallakis is the new construction manager in Orange.
  • HGA Architects and Engineers hired Rue T. Fort, AIA, LEED AP, as a senior associate and senior project architect focusing on healthcare and higher education in the firm’s Los Angeles office.
  • Perkins+Will has appointed Rachel Inmon as business development representative for the firm’s San Diego office.
  • HNTB Architecture reports that it has added more than 25 professionals to the staff of the firm’s Los Angeles office over the last six months. Of that group, joining the firm were Gordon Phillips, AIA, LEED AP; and Francisco Owens, AIA.
  • Johnson & Jennings General Contracting has hired Mike Stout as a project superintendent in San Diego.
  • Los Angeles-based ZGF Architects LLP has hired Martha Welborne, FAIA, as a principal.

So, to the hiring firms, thank you and let’s hope that the economy moves quickly into more job creation. If you’ve heard of any new hires in California, let me know and I’ll put the word out.