ACEC Rhode Island

About Us

ABOUT ACEC

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) is the voice of America's engineering industry. Council members — numbering more than 5,000 firms representing more than 500,000 employees throughout the country – are engaged in a wide range of engineering works that propel the nation's economy, and enhance and safeguard America's quality of life. These works allow Americans to drink clean water, enjoy a healthy life, take advantage of new technologies, and travel safely and efficiently. The Council's mission is to contribute to America's prosperity and welfare by advancing the business interests of member firms.

ACEC's roots date back to 1909 when a small group of engineers in private practice established the American Institute of Consulting Engineers (AICE), the forerunner of ACEC. Today ACEC is a large federation of 52 state and regional councils representing the great breadth of America's engineering industry. ACEC member firms employ hundreds of thousands of engineers, architects, land surveyors, scientists, and other specialists, responsible for more than $200 billion of private and public works annually. Member firms range in size from a single registered professional engineer to corporations employing thousands of professionals.

BACKGROUND ACEC of Rhode Island (formerly Rhode Island Consulting Engineers)

After 25 years of existence, the Rhode Island Consulting Engineers (RICE) organization has transitioned into the American Council of Civil Engineering Companies – Rhode Island (ACEC-RI). The switch to ACEC, which had been discussed for several years by the RICE board and membership, finally came to fruition in October 2016! As ACEC-RI, our organization now has the backing of a major national organization, the most powerful in our industry, which will now further allow us to better serve our member organizations in addressing matters that pertain to our businesses!

Who was RICE?

RICE was originally founded in 1991 by four leaders in the Rhode Island engineering community, Mr. Gordon Archibald, Mr. Ralph Cataldo, Mr. Larry Riggs and Mr. Robert (Bob) Rowan. The organization was formed to represent independent consulting engineering firms who were engaged in providing professional engineering services to the Federal, State and municipal agencies and the general public.

The purpose for forming this organization included:

As part of their objectives, RICE for over seventeen years annually awarded merit scholarships to students pursuing undergraduate degrees in engineering. The awarding of these scholarships was one part of RICE’s program to promote and support engineering through efforts to encourage the best young people to enter the profession. Consistent with this facet of its mission, RICE also conducted several other outreach efforts during the year including participation by member firms in the Engineering Career Day held at the University of Rhode Island (URI) each spring, as well as involvement in URI’s Summer Engineering Academy and the URI Capstone (Senior) Projects. RICE worked in conjunction with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, the URI Transportation Center, and the URI College of Engineering to provide resources and support for these career education initiatives.

In addition to the student outreach programs, RICE also worked with URI in a teacher externship program, through which several local school teachers of foundation subjects (science, mathematics, and technology) were paired with professional firms to gain real-world experience. During the externship, teachers shadowed engineers and technicians at RICE member firms who had volunteered to host an educator for a day. This experience enabled participants to enhance their classroom programs through a better understanding of how current industry practices related to fundamental concepts taught to students.

Why has RICE become ACEC?

As much as RICE had accomplished for its members in its 25 years of existence, there had been interests for several years by the member firms to become a member organization in the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). ACEC's roots date back to 1909 when a small group of engineers in private practice established the American Institute of Consulting Engineers (AICE), the forerunner of ACEC. Today ACEC is a large federation of 52 state and regional councils representing the great breadth of America's engineering industry. ACEC member firms employ hundreds of thousands of engineers, architects, land surveyors, scientists, and other specialists, responsible for more than $200 billion of private and public works annually. Member firms range in size from a single registered professional engineer to corporations employing thousands of professionals.

The reasons to become ACEC were plentiful. First and foremost, ACEC has been the voice of America's engineering industry for its members- numbering more than 5,000 firms and representing more than 600,000 employees throughout the country – while being engaged in a wide range of engineering works that propel the nation's economy and enhance and safeguard America's quality of life. These works allow Americans to drink clean water, enjoy a healthy life, take advantage of new technologies, and travel safely and efficiently. The Council's mission is to contribute to America's prosperity and welfare by advancing the business interests of member firms. This was a core value of RICE and with the national backing of such a powerful organization as ACEC it was felt that our goals and objectives would be more attainable with that support.

What does the backing of ACEC mean to its member companies and employees?

Benefits our member firms can expect as ACEC members include:

ACEC-RI Accomplishments

Although, we have only recently become a Member Organization of ACEC, much work has been completed. Among these accomplishments includes the hiring of Mr. Marcel A. Valois as our Executive Director. Mr. Valois' has many years' experience on the State and local level and has been involved in many of the major development projects that have occurred in the State over the last several decades. Through his leadership, ACEC-RI has taken a more aggressive approach to meet the goals that were established by RICE and continue to be important for our businesses and employees that are members of ACEC-RI. Also, our organization has also been restructured to allow for more involvement of our member firms through it's' employees, to better redefine the committees, to better develop committee responsibilities and to develop a schedule of activities to better cover the hot topics of the industry.

Some of the other significant accomplishments achieved since October includes:

Although much has been accomplished the past few months, there is much more work to be performed to ensure the continued success of the ACEC-RI organization, our businesses and our employees.

For more information about ACEC of Rhode Island, please contact acec@acec-ri.org.

Copyright American Council of Engineering Companies
1015 15th Street, 8th Floor, NW, Washington DC 20005-2605  -  P: 202.347.7474  -  F: 202.898.0068  -  E-mail: acec@acec.org
Contact Us   -   ACEC Advocacy   -   ACEC Home  -   Coalitions Home