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RE: Outsourcing - light commercial and high end residential

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Add this to my list of reasons why I left SEAOC nearly three years ago. When are we going to wake up and start to fight back to protect our livelihood?  My wife ordered a pair of shoes for me and the label said made in China – I returned the shoes. Then I looked at the shoes we bought at the mall – Hush Puppies. Again, made in China but now its too late for me to take them back (I’ve had them for a month and never checked the label). My wife told me that Dexter makes shoes in the U. S. and I asked her to go with me to find Dexter. If this is what it takes, I am starting to pay more attention – I only hope it’s not too late.


I have more work than I can handle now, but should I be complacent about it and figure that it will continue. I still think that if the professional community worked together, we could establish a network of engineering firms that would support other firms as the work load cycles over geographic pockets of the United States. If this does not take away the excuse for not using “national” labor (whether your are Canadian, European, Australian, British etc) then the only answer left is greed and lack of consideration for those who need to earn a decent living. In time, unless those who can see the consequences of their actions, they will be the first to leave this country to relocate to were conditions are better and the cities have not deteriorated from financial destitution.


Sounds bleak, but not unrealistic. Be optimistic – this is great- but don’t hide your head in the sand until its possibly too late.






-----Original Message-----
From: Mark D. Baker [mailto:shake4bake(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2003 4:55 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Outsourcing - light commercial and high end residential


I might add Dennis that in our Seaoc newsletter this month you will find a full page, glossy color advertisement for....yes...a local firm that outsources out of country, and proudly boasts of their inexpensive rates.


I have sat quietly while this thread has gone on about outsourcing here on the list. I certainly fall into the category of those who beleive I truly hear the great sucking noise as jobs leave our country and I do not like it.


But I tell you, it reeeeaaaally pissed me off to see this advertisement in the seaoc newsletter. Is our organization so hard up for money that they could not excersize good judgement and refuse this add? This shows me the level of support seaoc has for you, me and every other United States dues paying member.


I can not imagine anything seaoc could say to me to  justify running this ad which would result in me remaining a member.


Sheesh !





Add this card to your address book

----- Original Message -----

From: Dennis Wish

Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2003 2:48 PM

Subject: Outsourcing - light commercial and high end residential


I received a call from a head hunter who left a message on my answering machine indicating that he represented a structural engineering firm that had multiple offices in the United States and in Asia. The firm either has or intends to open an office in the La Quinta / Cathedral City area (these two cities are about 25 miles apart). They are looking for an engineer and in the head hunter claims I was recommended to him as having an authority in light commercial and high end custom residential.

I politely declined (also by leaving a message on his answering machine), explaining that I have been in private practice for nearly 18 years and that I would not be inclined to change my work habits to work for another firm. However, if they would like an engineer who is willing to consult with them or possibly have them “outsource” work to me, I would be happy with that arrangement.

The man called back (we are playing phone tag) and said he understood my situation as he was in a similar one. He explained that the company paid full benefits and the person they chose would head up the office and receive a percentage of the profits. He asked me to call back it I could suggest someone to him in my area.


My take is that we have a multi-national firm who is interested in competing against local engineers by setting up a local office and outsourcing the work to their office in Asia. This did not sit well with me and although it is a potentially profitable offer, it would have the potential to seriously under-cut all the local competition and either force down competitive rates or put some of us out to pasture. I like the pasture idea as I am getting tired, but I’ve been bitching on this and other lists for so long I couldn’t give up my principles and accept an offer like this.


So, I guess I could sit back and say that these games to maximize profit by eliminating trained local labor or professionals is just a figment of my imagination and simply do nothing. I read a quote that I can’t recall exactly or who said it but it was something like;


“All evil people need to succeed is to have the good people do nothing.”


I think the same is inclined to be true to those of us in the structural engineering community who continue to stick their heads in the sand and do nothing while they should be anticipating the potential problem and combating it head on.


Dennis S. Wish, PE

California Professional Engineer (as long as it lasts)

And hopefully one of the good intended people!


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