Caitlin Row

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June 22, 2012
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How one local business never stopped growing

Grand Junction businesses, take notice. One local firm - Armstrong Consultants, Inc. - never stopped growing. This specialty airport engineering firm consistently retains and adds positions, even in a sluggish economy. Serving a niche market, its staff of 38 specializes in national airport consulting, engineering and planning services.

Armstrong Consultants President Dennis Corsi said passion and commitment are top reasons for employee retention and growth.

"Armstrong Consultants is a privately-held, employee-owned company," Corsi said. "That says a lot about our culture here. Building great airports is at the heart and soul of what we do, every day, and we are all extremely passionate about it."

Serving the airport community exclusively for the last 29 years, the firm has completed 1,000 projects at more than 130 locations, according to Corporate Development and Marketing Manager Patricia Sliter.

As a specialty business growing to meet growing demands, new staff and increased reach is ever important.

"Our outstanding record of performance and reputation with federal, state and local agencies has allowed us to grow and expand in times when other firms are scaling back," Corsi said. "Our ongoing strategy is to maintain that exemplary level of service and do everything within our power to keep our people working."

So, how much has Armstrong grown? In 2006, the firm employed 24 people. From 2006-11, it grew to 33 (a 37.5 percent increase). And, within the last year, staff numbers shot up to 38, another 15 percent increase. Moderate growth is predicted in years to come, company leaders said.

While Armstrong's headquarters remain in Grand Junction, Sliter also noted satellite locations have been added in Arizona, New Mexico and Idaho.

"Armstrong Consultants will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2013, and we're proud to call Grand Junction our home," Sliter said.

Founded by Edward A. Armstrong, P.E., in 1973 as Armstrong Engineers, its core staff was tiny - a land development coordinator, a design engineer, a draftsman and a survey crew chief. All design drawings were done by hand, and services focused on municipal engineering and land development.

And, Armstrong - licensed as a multi-engine, instrument-rated pilot- often transported survey crews by plane.

"Frequenting area airports soon became a natural fit for Armstrong Engineers, and Ed quickly realized the need for design services at neighboring airports," Sliter said.

During the 1980s, Armstrong Engineers also contracted with Mesa County and the City of Grand Junction on "several major arterial municipal projects, including the widening of F Road, the design of the Redlands Parkway Bridge, the original design for the 29 Road Bridge and the intersection at Mesa Mall, which included all the overpasses and intersections," Sliter said. "Other projects included the original design for the 29 Road Bridge over the Colorado River and the civil site design for Walker Field."

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The Post Independent Updated Jun 22, 2012 03:39PM Published Jun 22, 2012 03:33PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.