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DBE | SBE | DBE Outreach

Teaming Opportunities for Small Business Enterprises (SBE), Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), or Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBE)

Wood Rodgers, Inc. is ALWAYS looking for great teaming partners for various project pursuits. We are especially interested in looking for opportunities to team with disadvantaged business enterprises for ongoing and future projects throughout California and Nevada.

Wood Rodgers manages a number of statewide projects where specialty and subspecialty disciplines are needed to help supplement our team. However, it is not limited to just disciplines that we do not have in-house. There are also opportunities where we share work that with our existing disciplines to create opportunities to build relationships with subconsultants.

We are currently active in Caltrans District 3 – Calmentor Program and have met a number of great teaming partners that have developed into long-term working relationships for various projects. We honor our commitments to our subconsultants and have had an impeccable history of sharing our work and ensuring payment to subconsultants.

We understand that projects have peaks and pauses. It’s not just about our subcontracting opportunities but also includes instances where Wood Rodgers can also supplement your teams during your peak times. Our goal is to create and build relationships where there is mutual and on-going support.

If you are a disadvantaged business enterprise and are interested in helping us build sustainable communities, work on exciting infrastructure projects, or simply looking to expand your own work portfolio, please send a Statement of Qualifications to Tina Cooper, Corporate Communications Director at tcooper@woodrodgers.com.

We would love to connect with consultants who share our passion with supporting our communities, providing our clients with unparalleled level of services, and elevating the field of engineering!

I’m Jonathan Brose, Corporate Recruiter at Wood Rodgers, a multidisciplinary engineering firm with locations throughout California and Nevada. Every day, I receive many questions from candidates about how we continue to hire and work during these rapidly changing times. If you’re considering applying to work here at Wood Rodgers, I put together this series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help. Feel free to connect and reach out to me on LinkedIn for additional information.

Jonathan Brose holds a Wood Rodgers coffee mug
I’m Jonathan Brose, Corporate Recruiter at Wood Rodgers, and I’m here to answer your questions about interviewing and working from home at Wood Rodgers during COVID-19.

#1: How has Wood Rodgers adapted during COVID-19?

First and foremost, we closely follow both federal and local guidelines for each of our office locations, and prioritize health and safety. Employees are given an individualized plan to meet their needs, including the ability to work from home. There is no “one size fits all” solution to ensure the safety and comfort of our staff and organization. Instead, we are working to accommodate the individual preferences of each candidate, new hire, and employee, as long as local, state, and federal guidelines are followed.

Wood Rodgers was one of the earliest adopters of Workspot, which allows all of our employees to work remotely and do all of our heavy computing (AutoCAD, GIS, and more!) in the cloud. We communicate heavily with chat and video calls via Microsoft Teams. Regardless of location, employees are provided the tools and technology to be fully functional and productive.

The majority of our staff are working from home, but we have strict sanitation and safety rules for those who request and are approved to work in the office. (Yes, approval is currently required to work in the office, as working virtually is preferred). In addition to evening deep-cleanings, we have technicians wiping down surfaces throughout the day. Masks, gloves, thermometers and hand sanitizer are readily available at each office. If conference rooms are required, capacity is greatly limited to ensure physical distancing.

My personal experience is that the first couple of weeks of working virtually were a big adjustment. We are a very social and collaborative environment and it took me some time to be comfortable with video conferencing. The collaborative spirit of Wood Rodgers made the transition much easier than I would have expected. 

#2: How do Wood Rodgers employees work during COVID-19?

We allow flexibility for the safety and well-being of our employees, and provide all required resources and training for employees to be successful!

Flexibility and meeting the needs of our employees comes first at Wood Rodgers. All employees are provided with the resources they need to successfully work from home. Based on the specific role, Wood Rodgers will provide job-related equipment on a case-by-case basis.

Even as we work virtually, Wood Rodgers has a social culture between all groups of the organization. We are excited to welcome every new employee to the company, and strive to make their work experience great. While some things have changed, the spirit and culture of Wood Rodgers lives on as strong as ever!

As an example of our current virtual work culture, we’ve been continuing companywide work anniversary celebrations online through Microsoft Teams. Normally, we host regular events throughout the year to recognize each employee and their annual contributions to the company. Every year for their work anniversary, employees get to spin the Wheel of Cash and win $60, $80, $100, or $200, sometimes even with a multiplier of x2, x3, x4, or x5 depending on how long you’ve been with Wood Rodgers. Since we can’t get together for these regular events, Wood Rodgers Graphic Designer and Developer, Devin Crowley, developed a virtual Wheel of Cash!

Normally, we have a celebration with the Wheel of Cash…

The Wood Rodgers wheel of cash at an outdoor celebration.
A Wood Rodgers tradition: every year for their work anniversary, employees get to spin the Wheel of Cash.

But currently, employees spin this virtual Wheel of Cash to celebrate their work anniversaries while we work from home!

A graphic of the Wood Rodgers wheel of cash
The virtual version of the Wood Rodgers Wheel of Cash, designed by Graphic Designer and Developer, Devin Crowley.

I have been incredibly impressed seeing the Wood Rodgers’ culture not just rise to the occasion, but thrive with all these changes. 

#3: How are interviews being conducted currently?

The hiring process starts out with a phone or video interview with me (Jonathan Brose). If we both agree to move to the next step, we will schedule either a video interview or on-site interview. The next interview is conducted with your potential manager.

Wood Rodgers encourages virtual interviews as our first preference, as the safety and comfort of each candidate and employee is our top priority. When BOTH the candidate and manager prefer an on-site interview, we follow stringent health and safety guidelines. These protocols include, but are not limited to, wearing masks, room sanitation before and after interviews, limiting of people in the room, and physical distance of 6’ or greater. We are able to make hiring decisions through this process and continue to bring great new talent to Wood Rodgers.

As the Corporate Recruiter, my personal experience has changed as I’ve become more adept at conducting video interviews with candidates and working to improve each candidate’s virtual experience. My goal through the virtual hiring experience is to give each candidate a great idea of life and projects at Wood Rodgers. As a recruiter, I’m looking at what will be best for each candidate to be successful on their team.

#4: How would I start work if I were to join Wood Rodgers right now?

Each employee has a customized itinerary for their first day of work to familiarize with the team, projects you’ll be working on, company processes and perks, and overviews of each department.

Wood Rodgers’ on-boarding paperwork has been electronic prior to COVID-19, making virtual on-boarding simple. On your first day, we will coordinate for you to safely pick up equipment for remote work. Each employee has a customized itinerary for their first day of work, to familiarize with the team, projects you’ll be working on, company processes and perks, and overviews of each department. Although each itinerary is different (depending on the employee and the role), orientation normally consists of an overview of departments, company policies, time sheets, IT, marketing and our community action program, STEAM Team.

On your first day, you’ll already know who your manager and team will be, and you’ll have a basic idea of projects you’ll be working on. We also try to schedule a lunch (or virtual lunch) for new hires on the first day with your manager or another person on your team. During the first week of work, your manager will provide you with tools, trainings and resources to get you started. HR will be there for support every step of the way.

We have received very positive feedback from new employees on the ease and comfort of starting a new position at Wood Rodgers. Currently, we’ve had seven new hires successfully start at the company following March 2020. We are constantly working to improve each new hire’s experience.

#5: How can I get further information about working at Wood Rodgers?

As the Corporate Recruiter for Wood Rodgers, feel free to reach out to me anytime at jbrose@woodrodgers.com or chat with me on LinkedIn here. For more information on current openings, visit our website hereI consider all questions and inquiries confidential and take pride to ensure candidates feel comfortable discussing employment with Wood Rodgers.

Additional questions? Leave a comment!

About Jonathan Brose – Wood Rodgers Corporate Recruiter

A professional headshot of Jonathan BroseJonathan Brose has 15 years in Recruiting and Human Resources management. Jonathan specializes in hiring for multiple disciplines within engineering industry and currently collaborates within all of the departments at Wood Rodgers. Whether in a first phone call or a formal interview, Jonathan’s goal is to provide each candidate with a positive experience of the hiring process at Wood Rodgers. 

Construction Site Monitoring at Wood Rodgers
The July edition of the Digital Mapper at Wood Rodgers is here!

Introduction

Wood Rodgers, Inc. (Wood Rodgers) completed a detailed planimetric and topographic map of a 20-acre electrical substation and natural gas terminal site in Reno, NV. A combination of data was collected, including aerial imagery from an unmanned aerial system (UAS) as well as ground survey crews locating and identifying utilities features via RTK GPS. The topographic map was generated to assist in the civil engineering design for a grading plan and new utility locations.

Data Collection through Aerial Survey

This site was initially surveyed in July 2019, prior to any engineering design or construction activities. The topo map was used to design pad elevations as well as horizontal locations of new utility infrastructure. After some preliminary grading work was performed, the site was flown again in July 2020 and aerial imagery was collected and processed with photogrammetric techniques to verify pad grades as well as retaining wall locations.

Wood Rodgers surveyors use a UAS to collect aerial imagery
Wood Rodgers uses UAS to collect aerial imagery, which is processed with photogrammetric techniques.

What Does the Data Reveal?

Through communication between the contractor and the civil engineer, it was determined some of the retaining walls were constructed in a different location, other than depicted on the civil improvement plans. The aerial survey was used to determine exactly where those walls had been constructed to ensure there was no conflict with existing and new utilities locations. In addition, the aerial survey double checked the grading and need for site material balance. The issue was known prior to the survey flight but the data gave a new and expanded context to the site conditions.

Map generated by Wood Rodgers
Aerial surveys can be used to give a new and expanded context to site conditions.

What Did We Learn?

The newly updated CAD topo and planimetric map (including orthorectified imagery) was overlaid on the design plan drawing to see a direct vertical and horizontal comparison of as-built features versus design features. Through the combination of ground control points and directly referenced aerial data, the accuracy of these positions can be verified as accurately as 0.1-foot. The ability to quickly deploy a UAS and process the data enables owners, surveyors, engineers, and grading contractors to track construction progress and review new data in a timely manner. This rapid update allows stakeholders to dynamically make decisions as situations change, all with the goal to get the job done in the most time and cost-effective way.

The newly updated CAD topo and planimetric map (including orthorectified imagery)
The newly updated CAD topo and planimetric map (including orthorectified imagery) was overlaid on the design plan drawing to see a direct vertical and horizontal comparison of as-built features versus design features.

Outro – About the Author

A professional headshot of Michael Detwiler, Wood Rodgers

This newsletter is authored by me, Michael Detwiler. I work as an Associate Photogrammetrist at Wood Rodgers. I’ve traveled quite a bit for work in the past decade and contributed to many challenging projects in interesting places. After over 17 years of experience, I am looking forward to sharing more about aerial mapping, land surveying, and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) with you through this newsletter.

I enjoy reminiscing with former and current colleagues about past adventures. However, I have always wondered if anyone else would find these stories amusing. I had an idea to create a monthly newsletter, with the goal of simply highlighting a recent survey project, and sharing the story and challenges it presented. The focus of the Digital Mapper is to show how cool survey projects can be – especially because they are outside, in the field, with high tech gadgets! By telling my story, I also hope to inspire young professionals or students to pursue the career of a Photogrammetrist and/or Land Surveyor.

The Digital Mapper is released at the beginning of each month. Please feel free to comment and/or reply directly. If we are not a connection on LinkedIn and you enjoyed this newsletter, lets please connect here and share the story!

Roseville, CA — April 9, 2020 —Wood Rodgers is pleased to welcome Stacey Randall, PE, as an Associate in the Bridge Department. Stacey is a Bridges and Transportation Structures Engineer with 17 years of experience in management, design, and construction of bridge and roadway projects. Stacey delivers designs which balance complex local and regional priorities, tight project site constraints, and various public and private interests.

Stacey Randall, Wood Rodgers Associate Bridge Engineer shown in front of our Welcome Banner on her first day at work.
Wood Rodgers welcomes Stacey Randall to the Bridge Department.

Wood Rodgers welcomes Stacey Randall to the Bridge Department.

Growing up, Stacey was fascinated by her uncle’s career in Structural Engineering. In addition, she enjoyed her structures classes in college, and graduated from Sacramento State University with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. Throughout her career, Stacey has contributed to a number of projects in California, from the southern coast in San Diego to the northern coast in Mendocino.

“It is really interesting to be involved in projects all over California,” explained Stacey. “From bridges in the middle of downtown Santa Barbara surrounded by multi-million dollar condos to bridges up on the Lost Coast where you need a four-wheel drive vehicle just to get out to the site, every project is different and poses its own unique challenges.  It’s a great way to keep learning about the state where I live.”

Dressed in safety gear, Stacey Randall and co-worker on construction site, standing in front of cast-in-place pile.
Throughout her career, Stacey Randall has contributed to a number of projects in California, from the southern coast in San Diego to the northern coast in Mendocino.

Throughout her career, Stacey Randall has contributed to a number of projects in California, from the southern coast in San Diego to the northern coast in Mendocino.

California design standards include seismic analysis for Bridges and Transportation Structures. Therefore, California agencies have different requirements for project design and submittals in comparison to other states. To streamline the project schedule, Stacey gained an intricate understanding of the standards for varying California public agencies.

“While each agency will have slightly different requirements for some things, like the format of invoices or how they want design decisions documented, nearly all local agencies in California use Caltrans design standards, so having a good understanding of those standards will help streamline a project.  The goal is to deliver projects on schedule and within budget,” Stacey said.

COVID-19: Working Remotely in a New Role at Wood Rodgers

Stacey started at Wood Rodgers before shelter-in-place ordinances were implemented throughout California. Therefore, on her first day of work, Stacey had a full orientation within the company headquarters in Sacramento. Wood Rodgers then transitioned employees to work remotely, in compliance with state and federal advisories regarding COVID-19.

“On my first day of work, I was able to meet almost everybody in the Sacramento office. HR had a really great agenda, and I was introduced to my new coworkers and shown all the different departments,” said Stacey. “We couldn’t shake hands, which was the only odd part about meeting a bunch of new people!”

Chris Hodge, Principal at Wood Rodgers, leads the Bridge Department at Wood Rodgers. Stacey and Chris worked together at a former company, which helped ease Stacey’s transition into her new role. In addition, the Roseville office has been equipped with Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI) for months through Workspot. The Wood Rodgers Technology Group recently implemented Office 365 and Microsoft Teams as collaboration tools for employees companywide. On Stacey’s first day of work, she was immediately equipped with full remote capabilities, which enabled her to start working from home due to COVID-19.

“In my office in Roseville, I was already set up to work remotely, so it was very easy to plug into Workspot on my laptop on home,” Stacey explained. “Through Teams, our Bridge Department has already participated in multiple conference calls about projects, so working remotely was easy for me right away.”

Chris added, “Stacey is a real superstar in our industry. She moves seamlessly between roles in technical delivery and client relations. Stacey will provide Wood Rodgers with invaluable support in both those realms as we continue to grow our Bridge Department. We look forward to providing her with opportunities to keep her challenged and to continue her development.”

Stacey Randall receiving Structural Project of Year Award @ ASCE Region 9 Awards
At the ASCE Region 9 Annual Awards, Stacey received the Structural Project of the Year award for her work on the Alpine Meadows Bridge Replacement Project (Placer County).

At the ASCE Region 9 Annual Awards, Stacey received the Structural Project of the Year award for her work on the Alpine Meadows Bridge Replacement Project (Placer County).

Multimodal Designs for Bridges and Transportation Structures

Stacey enjoys working on projects which incorporate multimodal transportation options, such as pedestrian sidewalks, trails and bike lanes. Multimodal projects serve many people within a community, including motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians. When Stacey joined Wood Rodgers, the Bridge Department was prepared with an opportunity for Stacey to work on a multimodal design.

“The best part of the transition was jumping into projects right away. There is a lot of work to be done in the Bridge Department. I am starting by working on a project on HWY 49, for Placer County Transportation Planning Agency (PCTPA). I am designing a pedestrian bridge over a creek, as well as retaining walls that will be constructed along the back of the sidewalk,” said Stacey. “The project is also in the town that I live in, so being able to be involved in a project that will serve the community I live in is really exciting.”

Stacey standing in front of foundation and structural rebar with set of plans, in hand.
“Being a Project Manager, you learn how to lead a team and what motivates a team. It is important to keep the project on schedule and the work within the scope. You are honing your skills, not only as an engineer, but also as a leader,” as stated by Stacey.

Stacey Randall is a Bridges and Transportation Structures Engineer with 17 years of engineering experience. 

Throughout her career, Stacey has successfully performed the responsibilities of Design Engineer, Project Engineer, and Project Manager on a variety of projects. While working in project management, Stacey enjoys collaborating on the complex parts of projects, including the environmental, hydraulic, and geotechnical analyses.

“Being a Project Manager, you learn how to lead a team and what motivates a team. It is important to keep the project on schedule and the work within the scope. You are honing your skills, not only as an engineer, but also as a leader,” said Stacey.

At Wood Rodgers, Stacey will grow the Bridge Department with her impressive engineering and project management expertise. In addition, she will enhance Wood Rodgers’ commitment to developing innovative solutions for our clients.

 

 

Wood Rodgers is fully functional in a remote workspace environment. For inquiries regarding Bridges and Structures services, please contact Chris Hodge at chodge@woodrodgers.com.

To keep up with Stacey and Chris, connect with them on LinkedIn.

Article written by Lexi Robertson

Sacramento, CA – March 8, 2020 – Wood Rodgers’ Water Resources Engineer Carlos Contreras, PE, and Josh Kaup recently helped the Three Rivers Levee Improvement Authority (TRLIA) coordinate a virtual bid event for contractors to bid on the TRLIA Goldfields project. Due to shelter-in-place directives, a typical bid event could not be held.  Therefore, to avoid project delays, Wood Rodgers stepped up to conduct a virtual bid event to prevent delays in the schedule of this essential public infrastructure project.

A bid event is usually held at an agency office as a formal process for contractors to submit proposals to win work. Normally, the contractors applying for work on the project would meet at the TRLIA office in person at the designated time and date to submit their bids and witness the opening. During the event, the agency reviews each bid and selects the apparent lowest bidder as the contractor for the project.  

First Virtual Bid Event Brings Challenges, Solutions

Carlos Contreras, PE, and Josh Kaup both collaborated on the design for TRLIA Goldfields, which was categorized as an essential flood control project. Carlos, who specializes in flood and levees,  has worked for Wood Rodgers for over 17 years, while Josh is a more recent addition to the company, with 5 years of engineering experience. Despite their extensive project experience, this was the first time that either Carlos or Josh encountered the need for a virtual bid event.

“We starting looking for alternatives,” said Carlos. “The TRLIA office within the county was closed, so Wood Rodgers stepped up to hold the virtual event. Before we even started working out the details, we knew we could make it happen.”

Three Rivers Levee Improvement Authority - 200-Year Goldfields Levee Project Cover
The cover photo of the Contract Specifications for the TRLIA 200-Year Goldfields Levee Project.

The cover photo of the Contract Specifications for the TRLIA 200-Year Goldfields Levee Project.

The invitation to the bid event was sent out in February 2020, before COVID-19 mandates were established in California. The first step of the new virtual bid process was publishing an Addendum with updated virtual event information. To make the information publicly available, TRLIA posted the bid documents and Addendum on their website, and also sent the information to a local Builders Exchange in Sacramento.

Mock Bid Openings Troubleshoot Problems Before the Main Virtual Event

Wood Rodgers chose a video conference format to closely simulate the face-to-face meeting that contractors expected. As a backup, a traditional teleconference line was also established.  The Wood Rodgers Technology Group provided IT resources, including Microsoft Teams, in order for Josh and Carlos to host the event virtually. TRLIA and Wood Rodgers conducted not one, but two, mock bid openings to practice the process. With each practice run, the instructions, event timing, and video quality improved.

“We were trying to make the bidding process as equal and normal as possible, with added safety factors. We made an extra effort to create the same quality of a bid opening as we possibly could,” explained Carlos.

On the day of the official bid opening, Carlos and Josh were prepared to address any last-minute problems or technical difficulties. However, because of the mock openings held beforehand, the virtual event ran smoothly. TRLIA received 7 bids from contractors, and 15-20 people virtually witnessed the bid opening.

“Our team has never held a virtual bid opening before, but Wood Rodgers’ fantastic IT department provided all the support we needed to be successful. After a handful of trial and error runs, we were confident that the bid opening would run smoothly,” commented Josh.

Carlos added, “Our goal was to abide by state recommendations to minimize contact, keep social distance, and follow other guidelines to combat the spread of the virus. We were able to accomplish that goal and still give the contractors a process that they are familiar with.”

COVID-19: Adapting Engineering Practices to the New Normal

Wood Rodgers is pleased to extend the lessons that Carlos and Josh learned from the first virtual bid opening as an opportunity to adapt to the project needs of all clients.

“These virtual events could become the new norm,” stated Carlos. “We’ve never had to video our bid openings before. Hopefully, when social distancing ends, we can still offer this format to contractors as an option to participate virtually.”

As a company, Wood Rodgers is proud to show clients that we will work together to solve unprecedented problems during uncertain times. Through creative technology and engineering solutions, Wood Rodgers is committed to keeping projects on schedule.

“The virtual bid event really gave us an opportunity to show flexibility, abide by the mandate, and keep the project moving forward. The last thing that Wood Rodgers, the agency, or contractors want is a delay on an essential project. Our client was happy – that was the biggest benefit,” said Carlos.

Wood Rodgers sends special thanks to TRLIA, The Handen Company, MBK Engineers, the participating contractors, and our employees for their help and flexibility to execute our first successful virtual bid event.

 

Wood Rodgers is fully functional in a remote workspace environment. For further inquiries, please contact info@woodrodgers.com

Follow along with Carlos and Josh, and more employees from Wood Rodgers on LinkedIn.

The cover photo of the Contract Specifications for the TRLIA 200-Year Goldfields Levee Project was designed by Audra Wells. This article was written by Lexi Robertson.

Remote Technology Solutions Move Engineering Projects Forward During COVID-19

For engineering firms, the challenge to implement remote workspaces may be elevated compared to other industries, simply due to demanding software requirements. A typical day for the average engineer at Wood Rodgers requires AutoCAD, Civil 3D, ArcGIS, Bentley FlowMaster, Bluebeam Revu, and BST Global. Large amount of data and resources are required for each of these power-house programs to function. Without a powerful Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), the remote work experience for an engineer would be slow, inconsistent, and very frustrating, if not impossible.

In October 2019, the Technology Group at Wood Rodgers began investigating the use of VDI. The original intention was to accommodate rapid expansion and increase remote capabilities within the Wood Rodgers offices of Las Vegas, Oakland, Pleasanton, Roseville, San Diego, and San Dimas. The Technology Group consists of the CAD Department, GIS Group, and IT Team, which all work together in a Development Operations (DevOps) process. In this format, Wood Rodgers has leveraged technology for years, providing unparalleled service to clients.

A professional engineer at Wood Rodgers works remotely on a job site.

Wood Rodgers searched for a VDI solution which could support the firm’s established file system provider, Panzura, as well as existing infrastructure on Microsoft Azure. Workspot was selected due to their competitive business model, commitment to customer success, Tesla M60 Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) and presence in Microsoft Azure. In engineering industry, a GPU is essential to process programs with high graphic and memory usage, such as AutoCAD.

“The use of Workspot with GPU, combined with Wood Rodgers developed CAD custom tools and Azure based Enterprise GIS infrastructure, gives Wood Rodgers the ability to perform above and beyond, regardless of the location or device,” explained Michael Albrecht, Director of IT at Wood Rodgers.

Delivering Engineering, GIS, and Design Projects in the Cloud

For the Technology Group at Wood Rodgers, continuing project deliverables in the face of COVID-19 required a rapid mitigation to the cloud. Through the established partnership with Workspot, Wood Rodgers had already proved VDI to be an effective solution for engineers, technicians, and field crews to work remotely. With shelter-in-place directives, the Technology Group quickly expanded VDI to all employees throughout the company.

“Wood Rodgers completed their initial implementation of Workspot cloud workstations weeks before the escalation of COVID-19 in California and Nevada,” said Workspot CEO Amitabh Sinha. “As it became necessary for the firm to comply with shelter-in-place directives, Wood Rodgers avoided business disruption through a well-executed business continuity plan that included rapidly scaling the number of cloud workstations in use. We’re very pleased that by using Workspot, the firm is moving projects forward for their customers and providing a productive, remote work experience that helps keep their employees safe.”

Wood Rodgers Roseville Office Utilizing Powerful Remote Connections on VDI, AutoCAD, and ArcGIS.
The powerful remote connections on VDI transitions users of AutoCAD, ArcGIS, and design software between desktop computers, laptops, and mobile devices. These photos were taken in the Wood Rodgers Roseville office before the recent shelter-in-place directives.

The powerful remote connections on VDI transitions users of AutoCAD, ArcGIS, and design software between desktop computers, laptops, and mobile devices. These photos were taken in the Wood Rodgers Roseville office before the recent shelter-in-place directives.

For the Technology Group, the most difficult part of the remote work expansion was helping users understand that VDI performance is not affected by their hardware at home. Workspot delivers high-capacity computing and graphic processing power, whether on an advanced desktop or a laptop. To help users adjust, the Technology Group focused on the software requirements of each different department while scheduling deployment of Workspot. Then, a member of the Technology Group scheduled a one-on-one virtual interface with each user. This process ensured long-term user success by verifying remote log-in capabilities and meeting software requirements.

VDI Remote Connections Work Better, Faster than Traditional Desktop Configurations

In addition to providing VDI through Workspot, the Technology Group implemented Office 365 and Microsoft Teams as collaboration tools for both internal employees and external clients. In fact, the Technology Group received an overwhelming response that VDI and the new communication tools actually worked better than the traditional office desktop. For example, VDI is far faster for engineers to load, open, and close drawings when modeling, rendering, and performing work on heavy computational software.

Throughout the company-wide expansion to VDI, the Wood Rodgers CAD Team innovated existing tools in the new virtual environment. For example, the CAD Team configured Wood Rodgers’ custom tools on AutoCAD to provide unparalleled capability on VDI. Engineers at Wood Rodgers have relied on these custom tools for years to be more efficient on AutoCAD than the average engineering firm.

In conjunction with the Technology Group efforts, the GIS Group developed mobile resources for the Survey and Geotechnical field crews. The GIS Group uses Esri’s Collector for ArcGIS and Survey123 for ArcGIS mobile apps, to help surveyors, inspectors and engineers collect data. These mobile resources allow site assessments to be completed on a phone or tablet while employees work in the field. In this way, the field crews are provided with all the tools and technology to complete workflows daily on each job site.

“With the Wood Rodgers custom tools on top of VDI, engineers can perform all the automated workflows that we’ve instituted. Wood Rodgers serves our external clients with stability in communications. With all these virtual resources, we can continue meeting online, as if we were face-to-face. By upholding our commitment to clients, Wood Rodgers employees are working, and we are delivering projects on time or earlier,” stated Michael Albrecht.

Wood Rodgers is proud to be fully functional in a remote workspace environment through powerful technology solutions. Having a Business Continuity Plan in place allowed for little to no business interruptions. Wood Rodgers is implementing continual efforts in developing innovations and applying them to the current events to deliver the best possible solutions for clients.

 

For more information on Wood Rodgers, please Contact Us through info@woodrodgers.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram

The Technology Group at Wood Rodgers is led by Cary Chisum, Michael Albrecht, Paul Petrowsky, and Sheng Tan.

Special thanks to Workspot! For more information on Cloud VDI on Azure, head to Workspot’s social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Article written by Lexi Robertson.

Wood Rodgers, Inc. (Wood Rodgers) is following the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO) for information and guidance regarding COVID-19. Wood Rodgers anticipated the potential effects of COVID-19 for the company and made logistical preparations far in advance to uphold the health and safety of the workplace.

As the situation regarding COVID-19 developed in recent months, the Human Resources, Technology Department, Facilities Group, and Company Leaders at Wood Rodgers implemented extensive precautions and preparations to ensure continuity of work. Please review the following for a summary of measures taken at Wood Rodgers to uphold health and safety. Wood Rodgers guarantees the continued commitment to clients and project deliverables throughout current events regarding COVID-19.

Ensuring Health of Employees, Clients and Communities at Large

The top priority of Wood Rodgers is ensuring the health and safety of employees, clients and communities at large. Wood Rodgers is closely monitoring and adhering to federal guidelines, especially with regards to closures of schools, restaurants, gyms, bars, conferences, and other locations where people congregate in California and Nevada. In addition, Wood Rodgers is accommodating employees in the high-risk health category, as well as caretakers for another in the high-risk category, and caretakers of children.

Every employee has been accounted for on a personalized basis to provide the best possible solution for all Wood Rodgers staff. Wood Rodgers developed a practical policy for employees to efficiently work remotely, which is discussed further in the following sections.

Notification System for Employees & Maintained Communication with Clients, Agencies

Wood Rodgers implemented a company-wide notification system to send group texts to employees in each office location as COVID-19 continues to evolve. The notification system ensures the safety of employees, as Wood Rodgers may immediately notify staff of any further changes to policy as recommended by OSHA, CDC, and WHO. Company Leaders at Wood Rodgers are utilizing the immediate text notification system in addition to company-wide email to keep all employees informed.

All communications between Wood Rodgers employees and clients will be maintained, as usual, through company-provided emails and phones. Through the Wood Rodgers remote work policy, employees are committed to providing timely responses to uphold communication channels company-wide.

Continuity of Work through Powerful Remote Software

Wood Rodgers anticipated potential effects to continuity of work prior to the escalation of COVID-19 in California and Nevada. Therefore, weeks in advance, Wood Rodgers partnered with our established and reputable third party vendors to provide strong, reliable VDI connections to employees. This partnership allows the AutoCAD, GIS, and computational software users at Wood Rodgers to remotely perform their work from home computers. Fortunately, Wood Rodgers has operated with remote access for many years, and this does not come as a new concept. In fact, this powerful remote software connection was already being utilized in the Wood Rodgers offices of Oakland, Roseville, San Dimas, and San Diego.

In addition, Wood Rodgers implemented protocols for other important aspects of business, such as Administration, Survey, and Geotechnical Inspections, from remote locations and devices. At this time, Wood Rodgers is revising staking requests to a 72-hour notice instead of a 48-hour notice.  Wood Rodgers is closely monitoring the guidelines and recommendations as it pertains to further steps for remediation, if needed.

Wood Rodgers Upholds Commitment to Project Deliverables

This press release is intended to ensure clients, agencies, and communities of Wood Rodgers’ commitment to adjust to all challenges pertaining to COVID-19. Throughout this time, Wood Rodgers assures you of continuity of work, maintained project deliverables for clients and agencies, and priority of health and safety for all.

For now, Wood Rodgers looks forward to continuity of work through established remote software. The Wood Rodgers social media channels on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook will continue to provide necessary company communications on COVID-19. In addition, please refer to the company social media channels and website for further assurance on continued project updates, personnel growth, and innovative design solutions through remote software. Finally, for existing clients and agencies, feel welcomed to reach out to your normal Wood Rodgers contacts regarding any project or logistical concerns you may have.

For all others, please email info@woodrodgers.com for further questions or concerns regarding Wood Rodgers’ response to COVID-19.

Wood Rodgers Develops Hydrologic and Hydraulic Modeling for Public Agency

Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, and Cupertino, CA — February 12, 2020 — Engineers from our Oakland Water Resources team took to the pipes on behalf of the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) for a recent flood study in Sunnyvale. The SCVWD is a public agency, providing water supply, flood protection, and stream stewardship for Santa Clara County. The agency serves approximately two million people in 15 cities and unincorporated areas in the County.

The San Francisquito and Adobe watershed (SF Adobe) flood study was conducted by the SCVWD for the development of hydrologic and hydraulic modeling. The project was in support of a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) study through the Cooperating Technical Partners (CTP) program. This study will provide data for a FEMA-compliant evaluation and delineation study for the 2-, 5-, 10-, 25-, 50-, 100-, 200, and 500-year events for the San Francisquito and Adobe watersheds (watersheds).

Hydraulic Modeling with Recorded Rain Storm Events

The hydrologic and hydraulic modeling of the study watersheds was calibrated using rainfall and flow gage data. The SCVWD had three existing flow gages in the watersheds that were used for this purpose. Five additional flow gages were purchased and installed in pipes and channel culvert crossings to measure depth and velocity.

Jeremy McMahon, PE, works as a Civil Engineer for Wood Rodgers, and specializes in pump station, water treatment and conveyance projects. For the SF Adobe flood study, Jeremy installed storm drain channel flow gages and wireless antenna telemetry at key locations in the SCVWD drainage system. These flow gages were utilized throughout the study watersheds to supplement the three existing depth gages on San Francisquito Creek, Madero Creek, and Adobe Creek.

“After installation, I monitored and maintained the flow gages for a 6-month period. Balancing the site constraints and capabilities of the equipment to get the most accurate flow readings is a fun and challenging process. Each application is unique, and requires custom solutions to get accurate and reliable flow data,” stated Jeremy.

Measuring Water Depth and Velocity for the SF Adobe Flood Study

Caela Brazelton works as an Assistant Engineer at Wood Rodgers in Oakland. Her project experience includes pumps, storm water infrastructure, watershed modeling, and pipeline design. For this study, Caela prepared gear and tools prior to going on-site. Once on-site, Caela helped install the gages and sensors by drilling mounts along the culvert walls for the sensor output lines, and securing the flow gage sensors to crown and inverts of the culverts.

Caela Brazelton, Assistant Engineer at Wood Rodgers, prepares for the installation of flow gages for the SF Adobe flood study.
Caela Brazelton, Assistant Engineer at Wood Rodgers, prepares for the installation of flow gages for the SF Adobe flood study.

Caela Brazelton, Assistant Engineer at Wood Rodgers, prepares for the installation of flow gages for the SF Adobe flood study.

For Caela, the most interesting part of the project was working on-site and seeing the different culverts and storm drains first-hand. “It’s one thing to sit at a computer in the office and design a storm system with 72” diameter pipes or 12’ x 10’ box culverts, but being able to see it all in-person really puts everything into perspective,” said Caela.

For example, one of the issues that Caela and the team found on-site was a 3” thick layer of calcium buildup that carpeted the floor of a box culvert where flow gage sensors were being installed. The calcium was too brittle for the flow gage sensors to mount properly. Therefore, the team modified their approach by first chiseling away the calcium in order to mount the sensors securely. By working on-site, the team was able to quickly account for small obstacles and keep the project timeline on track.

Caela explained, “Being on-site helps me fully understand the scale of the system we’re dealing with, as well as exposes me to problems that are only seen in the field and may need to be accounted for when modeling and designing these systems.”

Caela Brazelton uses a drill to install flow gages within a pipe.
Caela Brazelton uses a drill to install flow gages within a pipe. The flow gages will measure water depth and velocity for San Francisquito Creek, Madero Creek, and Adobe Creek.

Caela Brazelton uses a drill to install flow gages within a pipe. The flow gages will measure water depth and velocity for San Francisquito Creek, Madero Creek, and Adobe Creek.

Wood Rodgers was pleased to work with the SCVWD on this important Water Resources project in the Bay Area. For more information on Water Resources services, please contact us at info@woodrodgers.com

 

 

The engineers from Wood Rodgers who were featured in this article are Jeremy McMahon and Caela Brazelton.

For more on the Santa Clara Valley Water District, please visit their website here.

Article written by Lexi Robertson.

Wood Rodgers Recruiting Heads to College Campuses

Note: This article was written by Jonathan Brose, the Corporate Recruiter at Wood Rodgers. His role is to provide recruiting for the entire company, servicing our 8 office locations throughout California and Nevada.

 

As the Corporate Recruiter at Wood Rodgers, I am looking forward to visiting college campuses this upcoming Spring 2020. Whether you are a current college student, recent graduate, or seasoned professional, career fairs are a great opportunity to learn about careers at Wood Rodgers in a face-to-face setting.

Here is my upcoming schedule that I will be visiting career fairs on college campuses:

University of Reno, Nevada – Thursday, February 20th

California State University, Sacramento – Friday, February 28th

University of the Pacific, Stockton Campus – Tuesday, March 24th

Our booth will be easy to find-  just keep your eyes out for punk-rock themed posters, prize wheel, Wood Rodgers branding, and of course welcoming smiles from our team!

Whether you are a current college student, recent graduate, or seasoned professional, come talk to us at the upcoming career fairs!

Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege to attend many career fairs on behalf of companies. In this article, I will be sharing advice for best practices for students and recent graduates to approach recruiters, such as myself.

Dress to Impress

Although Wood Rodgers is famous among engineers for our casual dress code, it never hurts to dress your best when you’re introducing yourself for a job. For career fairs, I’d recommend minimally dressing in business casual (Khakis, button-up shirt, etc.) – but don’t be afraid to attend in full business attire.  As they say, dress for the job you want!

For career fairs, we’d recommend (at minimum) dressing in business casual – but don’t hesitate to add a Wood Rodgers temporary tattoo to your wardrobe.

Prior Research about the Firm

Every year Wood Rodgers receives many applications for internships, which we carefully consider. The best applicants put a little extra effort in with getting to know the firm and the engineering services we offer.  Our website is full of information on our projects, services, locations and open careers.

Be ready to talk about yourself as well.  We want to know what areas of engineering interest you the most, and this provides a great starting point on where we could fit you within our organization.   If you have multiple areas of interest, don’t be afraid to share – many of our greatest engineers started in one discipline and later found their long-term focus in another area.  Doing a bit of research on what services Wood Rodgers offers, matched with what disciplines interest you will provide an easy conversation and clear path to where we could place you in an internship.

We want to know what areas of engineering interest you the most, and this provides a great starting point to talk about where we could fit you within our organization.

Thoughtful Questions to Ask:

Recruiters truly enjoy great questions from candidates.  We also strive to be subject matter experts in our organization’s hiring operations, practices and employee performance.  Use this as an opportunity to pick our brains – you can learn an incredible amount from a recruiter.  Asking questions also shows recruiters you are engaged, curious, ambitious and ready to learn.  A few examples of good questions include:

-What is the process for getting an internship with your firm?

-What will I do during my internship with your firm? What will I learn?

-What options do you offer once the internship is complete?

BIG Bonus question:

Can you think of any recent success stories of individuals whom started as Interns and have grown within your organization? I call this a BIG bonus question because you can get insight into what’s going on inside the firm.  Recruiters enjoy bragging about how well employees grow inside their organization.  It could be a red flag if an employer cannot think at least one recent success story.

A Few Final Tips:

-Starting with a good handshake and direct eye contact with a recruiter provides a positive, comfortable first impression.

-Look at company’s online job board before the career fair to see what they need most. Apply your experience and interest to those areas.

-Pick the recruiter’s brain on career progression. For instance, becoming a Principal at Wood Rodgers is highly prestigious, yet completely obtainable.  Find out what goals are out there and how to obtain them.  As the saying goes “you won’t hit a target you can’t see.”

-Have fun! Career fairs are full of people, activities, interviews, and an overload of information, which can be intimidating. Remember, the purpose of the fair is to get you closer to your career goals as you transition from school.  This is a fun and exciting time to start seeing the fruits of your labor.  Take inventory that this is a very positive time in your life, and take a moment to enjoy the prospect of so many opportunities!

Wood Rodgers is looking forward to attending the upcoming career fairs at the University of Nevada, Reno, the University of the Pacific, Stockton Campus, and California State University, Sacramento. Send me a message on LinkedIn to let me know if you will be attending any of these upcoming events.

Theresa Gaughan Promoted to Principal at Wood Rodgers

Sacramento, CA — January 31, 2020 — Wood Rodgers is pleased to announce the promotion of Theresa Gaughan to Principal, effective January 2020. Theresa has over 15 years of experience in Human Resources (HR), and leads programs which create an employee-oriented, high performance culture. At Wood Rodgers, Theresa oversees the Human Resources Department, which includes all facets of HR (recruiting, retention, performance management, benefits and compensation). Outside of work, Theresa is applying for her novice racing license this February, as well as restoring her dad’s 1968 912 Porsche.

For Theresa, joining Wood Rodgers almost didn’t happen. The first time she applied, she didn’t finish the application because the employment website was a bit convoluted. A week later, she came across the job posting again, but decided to go straight to the company website and apply there. After she submitted her application, Theresa was invited to the Sacramento office for an in-person interview.

Wood Rodgers is pleased to announce the promotion of Theresa Gaughan to Principal, effective January 2020.

“When I left the interview that day, I thought ‘this is where I want to work.’ I look back on that and can’t believe that I almost didn’t apply,” Theresa commented.

Theresa’s experience with the hiring process from the candidate’s perspective gave her insight into how it could be improved. After joining the HR team at Wood Rodgers, Theresa worked to strategically update many of the hiring processes. For example, all Wood Rodgers offers are now signed electronically, and HR collaborates with the Corporate Communications department to maximize their social media presence. In addition, Theresa tackled projects to improve on-boarding, wellness, internal communications, digital hiring practices, and community action efforts at Wood Rodgers.

Performance Reviews, Company Intranet, and Be Well 2020 Initiative

In April 2018, Theresa implemented the launch of a cloud-based performance management system within Wood Rodgers. The goal of the system was to improve annual reviews, making the experience more beneficial for employees and managers alike. In addition, the online process ensures that reviews happen on-time annually for every employee at the company.

“Nobody likes reviews. Nobody, not even HR,” Theresa quipped. “However, they are still very valuable and worth the effort. The key is creating an easy process, so my goal was to move them to an online system, simplify the form, and keep them meaningful.  I don’t know if anyone likes them any more or less, but they are getting them done in a timely manner now!”

In 2019, Theresa led the team effort to innovate Woodnet, the company’s intranet. As a result of the project, Woodnet became an interactive, online platform for employees at Wood Rodgers to increase communication and collaboration. In June of 2019, Zweig Group announced Woodnet as the First Place recipient for their Marketing Excellence Awards’ Internal Marketing Campaign category.

“I loved this project! I’m most proud of how cool it turned out – it exceeded my expectations. We had some very talented technology people work on it and they took a basic layout and design and made it into a functional, engaging intranet site.  I felt like we renovated an old house into a modern, upscale space,” Theresa said.

In 2020, Theresa, with the help of a small committee, launched the latest company-wide project, the Be Well 2020 Initiative. Each month, different wellness themes are planned for employees. The initiative includes health information, outdoor activities, and events that bring people together. For example, January 2020 is focused on healthy weight.

The Be Well 2020 Initiative aims to support overall wellness for Wood Rodgers employees throughout the year.

“Each of us is more than just the person we see at work,” explained Theresa. “We live complicated lives made up of fast-paced work, stress, multiple commitments, social media, and lack of time and it keeps getting worse. We felt it was important to introduce wellness as an initiative to get people thinking about the benefits of a well-rounded life: body, mind, spirit and help bring some ‘calm’ to the otherwise hectic routines.”

Wood Rodgers STEAM Team in Sacramento

Through STEAM Team, Wood Rodgers collaborates with community partners to support education initiatives in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). In addition to launching new HR initiatives, Theresa works with STEAM Team efforts for our Sacramento office. For Theresa, supporting groups such as Sledge Hammer Graffix, Project Lifelong and the STEM Equity & Success Initiative at Sacramento City College has been a humbling and rewarding experience.

“These groups support underserved kids, teenagers, and young adults in the arts and STEM and they are the most caring, passionate people you will ever meet,” said Theresa. “They are relentless in their cause and truly grateful for the support; they are also very happy people. You see how hard they work and how these young people push through adversity to create a better life and it inspires you to do more, be more, give more.”

Representatives of Wood Rodgers STEAM Team present a donation check to Project Lifelong. Theresa Gaughan is pictured second to the right.

At Wood Rodgers, Theresa’s promotion to Principal demonstrates the importance of HR to help create and foster a great workplace for our employees. By creating great programs, building the workplace culture, and offering professional opportunities, HR initiatives prioritize our people.

“One point I’d like to make is while I’ve put in the hard work, this really is a testament to the leadership at Wood Rodgers stepping out of the status quo and elevating HR to that true business partner,” said Theresa.

Congratulations to Theresa Gaughan on her promotion to Principal. We are grateful for her contributions to the company, and pleased to celebrate her success.

 

For more on Theresa, please visit her LinkedIn page here.

Article written by Lexi Robertson.