Engineering Corporate Citizenship

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During a Midwest tour to learn about U.S. agricultural and grain systems, 31 Kazakhstan representatives visited Crystal Valley Cooperative’s facility in Hope, MN. Working with the Co-op and contractor, CEEC, Inc., VAA provided civil and structural engineering, industrial architecture, equipment layout and loop track design for the facility.

Join the tour and learn more about the delegates in The Farmer article.

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VAA’s Community Outreach team challenged employees to match the company donation this week in support of Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. With the combined generosity of the outreach team and individual contributions, VAA donated over $1,000 to the American Red Cross.

“We put on this challenge for a week to give employees an easy way to donate,” said Josie Gilles, a member of the Community Outreach team. “There is such an immediate need and it says a lot to me about the employees here that, on such short notice, so many participated.”

Disaster relief efforts take many forms and, along with local agencies, the American Red Cross is offering a range of physical and mental support to the people impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Donations are used to provide volunteers, mobile kitchens, hygiene items, grief counseling and more. If you’re looking for a way to contribute, donations can be made on the American Red Cross website.

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It is not every day you see CEO, Jeff Schrock (left) and President, Keith Jacobson (right) in a hair net, but on our last outing to Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) the duo, along with a group of VAA volunteers, helped hand-pack meals for children in Haiti. Meals of raw products, dried vegetables and minerals were sealed and prepped for shipping. Visit FMCS’s website to see how your organization can help feed those in need.

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Over 70 organizations in Hennepin County were presented with a plaque for earning the Wellness by Design award. As a silver-level award recipient, VAA was recognized for making “employee health a priority through creative and effective wellness initiatives.”

This is the third time VAA has accepted a Wellness by Design award, demonstrating the continued growth of its financial, social, mental and physical wellness programs. Recently added to our menu of well-being are company-funded bio-screenings by a third party vendor and financial wellness programs.

“We have built our programs around our people – conducting an annual survey helps our Wellness Committee set a schedule and introduce new programs based on employee interest,” said HR Generalist Cheri Axel. “From getting down in the mud at the Warrior Dash to game night events and more, we consider resources for overall employee wellness an essential piece of the VAA culture.”


As the title sponsor at the 14th Annual ACEC/MN Scholarship Golf Tournament, VAA - along with 48 Twin Cities-based organizations - raised over $17,000 during the event held at Oak Marsh Golf Course in Oakdale.

ACEC/MN’s scholarship program recognizes college students studying in the field of engineering. Individuals are evaluated on leadership, school / community involvement, academics and understanding of the engineering consulting profession.

VAA’s repeat performance as the title sponsor resonates closely with President, Keith Jacobson, as he was a past ACEC/MN Scholarship recipient. “To feel such tremendous support from local firms as a student made me realize the Twin Cities engineering community truly cares about backing young professionals entering this field. At VAA, we want to continue the momentum for future engineers through the scholarship program.”

Last year’s 10 scholarship winners attended the golf event and were recognized in a presentation concluding the tournament. Students from St. Cloud State University and the University of Minnesota’s -Twin Cities, -Mankato and -Duluth campuses were among recipients studying a range of engineer-related programs, including civil engineering, environmental engineering and land surveying / mapping. The 2018-19 scholarship recipients will be announced at ACEC/MN’s Engineering Excellence Awards banquet in January 2018.