RTKL Associates of Baltimore has received an "E" award from the U.S. Commerce Department for excellence in exporting, in recognition of "outstanding contributions to the increase of U.S. trade abroad."
The award was presented this month at a ceremony in the company's Baltimore headquarters by Daniel E. Sullivan, deputy assistant secretary for domestic operations of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, part of the Commerce Department's International Trade Administration.
RTKL was cited because 14 percent of its 1991 billings came from work in other countries -- far more than the industry average of 2 percent -- and for its particularly visible presence in Japan.
The firm has more projects under way there than any other U.S. architecture and engineering firm, according to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.
RTKL is the first non-Japanese company to compete for Japanese government construction projects in all nine Regional Construction Bureaus of Japan's Ministry of Construction.
RTKL has worked in 42 countries within the past five years and is one of the few design firms to receive an "E" award since the program began in 1961.
"In the late 1980s, RTKL made a business decision to expand into the international marketplace as a hedge against the domestic economic turndown," Chairman Harold Adams said.
"Our international billings have been a major factor in our ability .. to weather the recession as well as we have, and they also demonstrate the contribution that design services can make in improving our balance of trade."