Richard Riggs, director of Business Development at PAE Design and Facility Management, recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz regarding the challenges to drive long term success for the company’s workforce as the recruitment war for top talent in the federal sector continues.
In addition, Richard Riggs has discussed PAE’s recent growth initiatives to drive value for its customers as well as how recent acquisitions like Delta Bridge and others have improved and enhanced the company’s capabilities during the latest Executive Spotlight interview.
You can read the full interview with Richard Riggs below:
ExecutiveBiz: What can you tell us about the company’s recent growth initiatives and how you’re driving value for your customers? What are your strategic goals for the coming year and are there any new markets that you’re keeping an eye on in the federal sector?
Richard Riggs: “Our company had a ton of positive growth and expanded into more security, service type and technology work. About a year ago, PAE acquired CENTRA, TATE and Delta Bridge, which gave us more of the IT technology capabilities and more intelligent analysts to help us branch into other areas where we hadn’t diversified our portfolio.
In Amentum’s acquisition of PAE, there’s a lot of synergy in the work both of our companies have done and are doing. That helps bring some of the industry and best practices together with ourselves and Amentum to provide us both with a bigger portfolio for our customer base.
We’re looking to expand and actually grow our business through the information technology and cybersecurity areas. PAE has done a lot of the maintenance type of work in these areas, but we’re now looking to expand and get into the technological aspects of growing our business. We have an outstanding track record in regards to maintenance work as well as our spotless safety record.
PAE has been well above the industry average. We’ve set the bar as far as performance work is concerned and we’re collecting our metrics about how we’re showing the progress on these projects. We’ve had a lot of success in these areas. The goal is now to transition that same type of discipline and apply our strengths to the IT world as well.
We’re new to this game and we’re working on cybersecurity and have secured a few contracts of note. One of the things that we’re doing is applying industry best standards and thinking about how we apply those practices. We’ll hear back from our customers that we have a really strong understanding of the mission that they’re striving to perform.
When you move into the cybersecurity world, there are tons of people with the mentality of patching things along as they go. We want to be constantly looking for the next best thing to keep focused on the mission and bringing the techniques to the customer’s goals and support them.”
ExecutiveBiz: What can you tell us about the implementation of recent acquisitions like Delta Bridge and how they’ve benefited PAE’s portfolio, technical capabilities and driven value for your customers?
Richard Riggs: “PAE is a serious competitor in this sector, especially in my area of expertise of the intelligence community. The same type of work that we’re going after, our competitors are also pursuing. We always joke that there’s one giant pool of people that we all compete to acquire. We’re all in the same pool or boat, so to speak.
One of the things that PAE has been doing that will carry on through the Amentum acquisition is to really take care of our people and help them move forward in their careers with us. PAE wants to hire our people for a career, not just any one job. Your role could change in the company over time. If there’s another role that suits someone, we can work and train them for that opportunity.
I believe that has resonated very well into PAE and our people as well as our customers. The fact that we are keeping our talent in house and helping our people to grow and better support the customers’ mission and challenges.
With our acquisition of Delta Bridge back in , that’s a very niche type of company that has some unique communications and technology capabilities. It’s been very unique bringing them to the table because it puts us in a whole different element.
If you combine some of the work that PAE is doing today with the technologies that Delta Bridge is bringing in our organization, that puts our company into a strong position to better support our customers and pursue different opportunities and contracts.
That’s been a unique experience and challenge with the merging of our organizations. They had a lot of intelligence analysts that research and bring in the top talent from all around the world with different specialties as special capabilities.
For PAE, that does a lot to broaden our employee pool and bring in new talent that we wouldn’t typically see within our organization. Our acquisitions have been critical to help PAE grow as its own company to better support our people and the individual missions for our customers.”
ExecutiveBiz: How does PAE ensure long term success for your workforce to drive value for your employees as you continue to face the uphill challenge to recruit and retain the best talent in the federal marketplace?
Richard Riggs: “Another big thing that PAE has been working on is our focus on trying to capture our talent as early in their career as possible. That could be right out of high school or college and then we work with them to develop their skill set and get their clearance to come in and support us.
We’ve got some great ‘track stars,’ who are the folks that we develop these great success stories with and hired right out of college. They received their clearance during their college years and then came to work for us full-time. They start off in junior positions and move themselves up the ladder down the road and are running programs of their own.
Those are the kind of success stories that we’re looking for at PAE. There is a challenge because of the recent changes brought on by the pandemic, which is quite the challenge in our cleared environment. That’s a huge challenge for PAE to be able to support or allow one of those things to happen.
PAE is very open to that flexibility and where we can accommodate our people, we do. The bigger challenge is finding the motivated young folks who can drive value and support for the company and our customers. Once they’re on the PAE team, we can work with them to build out their career goals and aspirations.”