We are honored to have been selected as a 2016 Emerging Professional Friendly Firm by the American Institute of Architects Central States Region. The AIA Central States Region (CSR) is composed of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. An Emerging Professional (EP) is defined by the AIA as a student, recent graduate or architect licensed within the last 10 years. This award is given to firms who display an outstanding commitment to the development of their EP staff.
As of the date of the award, SGA Design Group employed 17 EPs who represent just under 30% of our firm. We make it a top priority to hand-select, train and empower our employees. Some of the benefits we provide include payment of all NCARB and AIA annual fees, study materials, and paid time off to take the Architect Registration Examination. To enhance NCARB’s AXP (Architectural Experience Program, formerly known as IDP), we have developed an in-house mentoring program which pairs an emerging professional with a more experienced architect. Virginia Hart, first hired as an intern architect and who is now a Sr. Associate and member of SGA’s leadership team, says “Our firm learned quickly that mentoring was vital to its culture, business success, and our profession.”
The 2016 award is the latest recognition of SGA Design Group’s long and rich history of supporting emerging professionals. We were the first firm in the state to be granted the AIA Oklahoma Intern-Friendly Firm designation, and AIA CSR previously recognized us with this same award. On a national level, we’ve been similarly recognized by AIA and NCARB with the 2008-2011 IDP Firm Award as well as the IDP Outstanding Firm Award in 2007 and again for 2011-2014.