In this new series, meet the Inspired People of Parametrix! We’ll chat with them about their role, what they’re currently working on, market trends, advice, and what they enjoy doing outside of work.
Today, meet Jackie Kuechenmeister, a Senior Planner with our Nevada Transportation team, working remotely from her home in Arizona. She has been with Parametrix for nearly 3 years and has 16 years of industry experience.
Tell us about your role at Parametrix.
I am a transportation planner, working for the Nevada office. I work on a range of projects, mostly for regional and statewide agencies, that set the foundation for future transportation investments. This ranges from high-level visioning, conducting data-driven analyses, and engaging with the community, to working with entities to apply for grant funding, prioritizing project lists for implementation, or communicating findings to politicians, stakeholders, and the public.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Writing, lots of writing (which I love)! Each day is something different, but usually a mix of virtual meetings with colleagues and clients, research or writing, and/or GIS mapping/data analysis.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The diversity of each day. I enjoy the flexibility of working with different clients, different people, different offices, and different types of projects. Each day brings something new, which keeps the job both fun and challenging!
Tell us about a project you’re currently working on.
We have the unique opportunity to work with both the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) and the City of Las Vegas to establish a process for selecting and responding to federal discretionary grants. Typically, when the Notice of Funding Opportunity is announced for a grant, there is a 3-5 week window in which the grant application is due. We are working with both agencies to develop a project selection and prioritization process related to grant eligibility criteria and project readiness, grant application templates, and process manuals, so that whoever assists in responding to grant applications uses the same approach.
What trends are you seeing in the transportation market in Nevada?
Transportation agencies in Nevada are trending toward looking at more comprehensive options to solve mobility and congestion. Capacity always comes up as the first solution, but they, especially NDOT, are pushing professionals to understand how else congestion can be managed. For example, can technologies aid in managing peak hour flows? Is there a market for multimodal accommodation? Can we work with local employers to stagger start times or encourage telecommuting? We are looking beyond the usual menu of physical roadway improvements to meet demand.
What do you recommend to agencies that are seeking grant funds? Where should they start?
I would suggest two items: (1) understanding which grants align with their project work (e.g., roadway, transit, bridge) and what the application eligibility requirements; and (2) developing a short list of projects to pull from that meet the eligibility criteria. Being proactive allows for a better application. Transportation grants are very competitive and require a lot of data and specific project information.
What advice would you give to young professionals?
Accept opportunities that come your way. Get to know a lot of different people. Don’t discriminate against small or easy tasks – your assistance can go far in helping others. Don’t focus too much on one area of work until you really get a chance to experience a wide range of disciplines or tasks. You may be surprised by what you find you actually enjoy.
What do you enjoy most about being an employee-owner at Parametrix?
The people. Parametrix is a company where the people truly come first and that value permeates the work environment.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Having my life run by a toddler 😊 Just kidding. While that’s partially true, we love being outside as much as possible – hiking, walking dogs, riding bikes, visiting friends. exploring the nearby mountains and wilderness areas. Arizona allows a wonderfully long outdoor season.