|Industry||Engineering and Construction|
|Founded||California, United States (1944 as Ralph M. Parsons Company)|
|Headquarters||100 West Walnut Street, [Los Angeles, CA]|
|Key people||Ralph M. Parsons, Founder
Charles L. Harrington, CEO
Thomas L. Roell, Group Executive, Operations/Risk
James R. Shappell, Group Executive, Development/Strategy
George L. Ball, CFO
Larry G. Shockley, Government Relations
Erin M. Kuhlman, Corporate Relations
|Revenue||US$ 2.87 billion (2009)|
Parsons Corporation (Parsons) is an engineering, construction and technical and management services firm headquartered in Pasadena, California. Founded in 1944 by engineer Ralph M. Parsons, Parsons Corporation is currently one of the largest such companies in the United States with revenues exceeding $3.4 billion in 2008. It is 100% owned by an Employee Stock Ownership Trust. Participation in the trust is limited to current and former employees. In 2002, Parsons spun off its energy subsidiary (Parsons E&C) which was later acquired by Australia-based WorleyParsons Group.
Parsons designs, builds and manages projects around the world in diverse markets ranging from bridges to wastewater treatment facilities to homeland security. Such projects include the process design of a large-scale mammalian biologics plant in Singapore, vehicle inspection in New Jersey, program development and management support services for U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s facilities, providing drinking water in Southern Nevada, supplying construction supervision to the Dubai Metro, labor relations services for the Los Angeles Unified School District's massive school building program and serving as managing general contractor for the Miami International Airport South Terminal construction project. The company won the contract from the government of Saudi Arabia for the design, supervision and construction of the nation's largest housing program encompassing 500,000 units.
Parsons delivers landmark projects across the globe. One of Parsons' many legacy projects was on the Alaska North Slope. Another significant project was the new industrial city of Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, situated on the Red Sea.
In 1977, Parsons acquired the transportation engineering firm of De Leuw, Cather & Company which had designed several major projects such as the Santa Clara County Expressway System.
Parsons was awarded a contract for a $243 million project to build 150 health care centers in Iraq in March 2004. By March 2006, $186 million had been spent, with six centers complete and accepted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), 135 centers only partly complete, and one reassigned to another contractor. USACE progressively terminated the contract from September 2005 to March 2006, eventually requiring Parsons to complete a total of 20 centers with the others to be completed by other contractors. The estimated cost for the completion of the other 121 centers was $36 million.
Parsons and USACE disputed the degree to which the final 20 centers were completed. A report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction cited problems, including "high turnover among government personnel... directions... given without agreement from the contractor... program managers' responsiveness to contractor communications, cost and time reporting, administration and quality assurance".
Engineering News-Record magazine's April 20, 2009, issue ranks the 2009 Top 500 Design Firms. Parsons was ranked #1 in Telecommunication for the tenth year in a row. Parsons was ranked #12 overall for Design. Parsons’ Hazardous Waste rank was #9. In Manufacturing, Parsons was ranked #16, and was ranked #9 in Transportation. Parsons’ International Markets rank is #22. In Industrial Process/Petro, Parsons ranked #19, and in Sewer/Wastewater Parsons ranked #20.
Ralph M. Parsons, along with leaving behind one of America's largest engineering corporations in the form of the then Ralph M. Parsons Company, contributed to other endeavors which live on to this day. In 1961 he founded the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation as the charitable giving arm of the company, when he died he left the foundation 600,000 shares of the company and $4 million in cash. The foundation soon became entirely independent from the company and to this day has no financial interest in it, sharing only the name of their founder.
In media and popular culture
The "Lanely Institute" depicted in The Simpsons episode "Marge vs. the Monorail" bears an uncanny resemblance to Parsons' Pasadena headquarters as one would approach the complex on North DeLacey Avenue in Old Town Pasadena.
Parsons is mentioned in the documentary No End In Sight, about the US war upon and occupation of Iraq. In the documentary, two US Marines comment that they had begun construction of border forts a year after Parsons had begun construction of their border forts nearby. The Marine, Seth Moulton, said "...we had our forts designed, built and dedicated in a period of about five months. I think when we left, the Parsons forts, which had been started maybe a year before we arrived were still not finished." The documentary goes on to say that while the forts built behind schedule by Parsons cost 1.2 million dollars, the Marines' forts built in conjunction with providing employment for Iraqis cost just $200,000 of US taxpayers' money.
Parsons is also notable to readers of John Perkins' book Confessions of an Economic Hitman, as the company that acquired Chas. T. Main Inc., a New England–based international engineering firm, which according to the book, acted as a consulting firm, trapping many Third World countries into international debts they could not repay.
Parsons was named as a “Most Admired Employer” in the fall 2009 Diversity Careers issues of Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology (HE&IT), US Black Engineer & Information Technology (USBE&IT), and Women of Color (WOC), published by Career Communications Group, Inc. (CCG).
- http://www.parsons.com/about-parsons/Pages/financial-highlights.aspx Parsons Financial Highlights
- Stuart W. Bowen, Jr. (February 15, 2007), STATEMENT OF STUART W. BOWEN, JR. SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION BEFORE THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTEE U.S. CONTRACTING IN IRAQ, House Government Reform Committee
- Engineering News Record, April 20, 2009 http://enr.construction.com/toplists/DesignFirms/001-100.asp
|url=missing title (help)
- 2009 Most Admired Performers for Minority Professionals, Career Communications Group, Inc., Fall 2009
- In-depth Company History (from Funding Universe)
- Biography of founder Ralph M. Parsons (from the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation website)