Submitted by SCJ Alliance 

At SCJ, one slice of PIE just doesn’t cut it. 

SCJ Alliance and Salish Middle School are teamed up as Partners in Education, or PIE, through North Thurston Public Schools. The program aims to bring schools and businesses together through volunteering and student support activities, and SCJ has been working to strengthen the partnership slice by slice.

SCJ’s bond with Salish started even before the doors opened last fall. The firm’s landscape architecture team provided significant design work for the school, including work on projects from irrigation design to playgrounds and ball fields. 

SCJ Alliance
Giving tree gifts in the SCJ office before staff members brought the donated items to students in need at Salish Middle School. Photo courtesy: SCJ Alliance.

In September, SCJ Vice President Amy Head introduced the topic of heat island effect to the 6th grade classes STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) as the kickoff to their semester-long project. Last week, staff from across SCJ donated gifts for 24 students in need as part of the firm’s annual giving tree tradition. Next spring, the SCJ team who was there from the beginning will return as educators in the landscape architecture class for interested students. 

“It’s been a treat partnering with Salish from the very beginning,” Amy said. “Community involvement is a main ingredient in our culture at SCJ, and it’s been heartening to see our efforts focused on one place.”

Salish, less than 3 miles from SCJ, is the district’s newest public school, and staff at SCJ are happy to see the growth of the community right outside their door.

“It’s always fun to mix it up, get out into the schools and interact with students interested in our field,” Amy said. “We’re proud to be a part of the Lacey community and look forward to a few Salish Ravens coming to work with us someday.”

SCJ is a nationally-recognized, multidisciplinary consulting firm specializing in civil engineering, transportation planning and design, environmental and urban planning, landscape architecture and design, and public outreach. The company, celebrating a 10-year anniversary this year, has grown steadily from three employees in one location, to a dynamic team of more than 80 employees in six locations: Lacey, Centralia, Vancouver, Seattle, and Wenatchee, Washington. The privately-held, majority women-owned firm recently opened a second Seattle office and is the recipient of two top places to work awards in the last 12 months.

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