Christner is proud to be honored by the AIA Central States Emerging Professionals Committee as a 2019 Emerging Professionals Friendly Firm! Each year we sponsor several college interns over the summer, providing real project experience that is balanced with a summer research project for each intern and an individually assigned mentor. One of our greatest joys is when those interns return as full-time employees following graduation! We work diligently to provide programs that support emerging professionals on their path to becoming architects.
Our active bike team participates yearly in Bike MS and Pedal the Cause. We’ve committed to the Pledge 1% program and typically donate over 2% of our annual billable hours to local pro-bono work. Additionally, we select one philanthropic build project a year for our employees to get their hands dirty while making a positive impact in our community. This past year we revitalized an outdoor courtyard and play space for Haven of Grace.
Christner offers a variety of in-house continuing education much of which provides AIA learning units. Each employee also has an annual allotment of “education time” that they may use for any type of education or professional development outside of the office. Additional funding is also available to cover registration costs for conferences, online courses, or educational materials. In addition to reimbursing for architectural licensure exam fees, the firm also covers the cost of supplementary accreditations such as CSI, LEED AP, and EDAC.
The “spotlight project” program allows employees to pitch ideas to the shareholder group, who then fund the winning requests. The program has resulted in the purchase of an office drone and training an employee as a drone operator, a biophilia-based material research project, and online education and exploration of data visualization techniques.
Lastly, a robust benefits package supports emerging professionals as they build their careers, including strong health benefits, short- and long-term disability, life insurance, and 401k matching. The fitness center in our building is freely accessible to all employees, and healthy food is available through Fair Shares, a local CCSA (Combined Community Supported Agriculture), which delivers directly to the office.