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2021 Training and Education Update

June 20, 2022

Thornton Tomasetti employees worked together on student projects as part of a Roux Institute at Northeastern University course on machine learning. This diagram depicts one team’s solution to building an environmental and energy performance prediction system.

One of the pillars of Thornton Tomasetti’s training and education program is mentorship throughout an employee’s tenure. Mentoring builds relationships and helps employees understand what it takes to be successful. In 2021, we expanded our formal mentoring program – originally offered only to women, due to the known challenges they face in AEC professions – to include people of all genders. By subscribing to a new mentorship platform, we were able to automate processes that allow us to offer mentoring to 74 percent more employees and to administer the program at a higher level. In 2021, 312 people signed up to be mentors and 404 employees were offered a mentor in the first six-month period. The opportunity for mentorship will rotate to a new group in the next series.

2021 Training and Education Update

We continued to develop our existing training programs with multiple delivery strategies (see GRI Content Index 404-1). Our entire staff has access to 600 online courses, which offer continuing education credit, and to regular Thornton Tomasetti University seminars (48 seminars in 2021). Our project management training involved 61 associates in a two-day program and completion of 430 online training sessions in 10 offices. Soft skill training is internally designed to provide insight into requested topics such as delegation, communication, management and leadership.

A new partnership with the Roux Institute at Northeastern University in Portland, Maine, presents a unique opportunity for forward-looking skill development. As a corporate partner, we have agreed to collaborate on educational and resource offerings and to sponsor and fund employee participation. In the first year of this industry-academic collaboration, we enrolled 20 practitioners in courses tailored to our people’s interests in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. We also enrolled 26 of our leaders in an AI overview workshop by the Roux Institute. These trainings generated ideas for implementing this innovative technology in the firm’s work.

Thornton Tomasetti made a commitment to vitality, and we’re looking to develop the future skill sets that will contribute to our enduring organization. Our partnership with the Roux Institute will help our people develop cutting-edge skills and will advance our knowledge of AI internally and industry-wide as we create pathways to sharing our knowledge within the profession.

In addition to increasing the depth of our mentoring, group coaching programs and formal training opportunities, we’re preparing next-generation leaders for responsibilities that lie ahead as they advance in their careers. In 2021, the first cohort in our Action Leadership Challenge completed a two-year program of leadership training, self-assessment and collaboration on initiatives to support the firm’s five-year strategic plan. Our employee network groups and communities of practice (CoPs) involve learning activities and a significant amount of networking and organizational development. Our 30 CoPs, topic-focused knowledge management groups open to all employees, engage 52 percent of employees in the sharing of ideas across practices and offices.