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July 07 Businessexcellence 85 fi rms around the country, giving Terracon a much bigger footprint to better serve these large clients, as well as gain a competitive advantage. So rather than compete with a hundred smaller fi rms, our concern is only a handful of larger fi rms.” Terracon has experienced fi ve solid years of steady growth, approximately 20 percent annually, partly due to a strong economy, partly to its diversity of client sectors. A few key acquisitions at the beginning of 2007 have already put revenue up over 30 percent through the fi rst half of 2007. Over the last decade, the company has grown an average of 17 percent per year, slightly more by internal than acquisition growth (13 acquisitions over 10 years, mainly regional fi rms with four or fi ve offi ces each), so it’s surpassed its own strategic goal of 15 percent average growth—about two-thirds internal, one-third by acquisitions. A few notable Terracon projects are the major expansion of the Port of Alaska, and the expansion of Interstate 25 through the Denver metro area, at the time the largest design-build project in the country. Gaboury thinks the biggest challenge for his industry is the low number of qualifi ed engineers graduating from colleges these days, “and as a company we want to be much stronger in terms of human capital management, human resource management, and making this a key competency. We’re technical people, but we’re in the people business as much as anything, so we have to attract, retain, and quicken the development of our people. There are a lot of competitive fi rms for young engineers to choose from, and we have to establish our fi rm as preferable for them.” Terracon Consultants

Businessexcellence July 07 86 E-J Electric Installation engineers for excellence, in its installations and its structure, as Ruari McCallion learned from president, Tony Mann Engineering excellence