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What is READY?

READY (Restoring the Environment and Developing Youth) is a two-month summer program that provides conservation education, employment, and career development to young adults ages 16 to 25 residing in Howard County, MD.

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Are you ready to immerse yourself in a transformative experience?

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What Does READY Do?

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Sustainable Landscaping

Conservation and sustainable landscaping form the core of our organization, serving as the primary focus of the READY program. Participants are immersed in the construction and maintenance of various green infrastructure projects, actively contributing to environmental betterment. This hands-on work encompasses:

  • Stormwater Management Practices: Our crew members play a vital role in constructing stormwater management solutions, such as rain gardens and conservation landscapes. These initiatives are key in reducing the impact of stormwater runoff and enhancing environmental sustainability.

  • Conservation Maintenance:  Participants in the READY program maintain existing conservation landscapes, rain gardens, and past tree plantings. 

  • Invasive Species Identification and Management: Gaining skills in the identification and control of invasive plant species, our crew members help preserve native vegetation and protect local ecosystems from the adverse effects of invasive species.

Through these vital activities, READY crews make significant contributions to the creation and upkeep of sustainable landscapes, leading the way in cultivating a greener and more eco-conscious community across the greater Baltimore area.

Training

In the READY program, participants engage in a comprehensive training regimen designed to immerse them in the green industry, with a focus on professional development days, industry exposure, and self-evaluation mechanisms. The training includes:

  • Safety Training and Tool Usage: Crew members are provided with essential safety training, emphasizing the correct and safe use of landscaping tools. This not only ensures a secure work environment but also equips participants with vital practical skills.

  • Plant Identification and Installation: Participants become adept at identifying various plant species, focusing on understanding the role of native and invasive species within local ecosystems. This knowledge is directly applied as they learn the proper techniques for the installation of native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants, enhancing their hands-on experience in sustainable landscaping.

  • Professional Development Days: Regularly scheduled professional development days are integral to the program, offering workshops and sessions designed to enhance personal and career growth. These days are dedicated to fostering a deeper understanding of the green industry and preparing participants for future employment opportunities.

  • Industry Exposure to Green Jobs: UpLift provides participants with valuable exposure to the green job sector. This includes interactions with professionals, site visits, and practical assignments that introduce the vast array of career paths available in environmental conservation and sustainability.

This comprehensive approach not only provides participants with the necessary technical skills but also fosters a deep understanding and commitment to environmental stewardship, preparing them for meaningful careers in the green industry.

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Certificates

READY program participants have the opportunity to acquire valuable certificates that enhance their skills and credentials in the green industry. These certificates include:

  • Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Associate (CBLP-A): This certification recognizes proficiency in sustainable landscaping practices, demonstrating expertise in the conservation and restoration of landscapes.

  • American Red Cross First Aid & CPR: (Available for READY Leaders only) Equipping participants with essential first aid and CPR skills, this certification ensures crews are prepared to address health and safety concerns in the field.

What We're Looking For

Qualifications
  • Age: Must be between 16 and 25 years of age

  • Residency: Must be a Howard County Resident

​This is a workforce development program, and for many people, this is their first job. But here are some qualifications we're looking if you would like to join our team: 

  • Punctuality and Attendance: Attend all scheduled sessions and arrive on time, ready to engage in all activities.

  • Active Participation: Actively participate in all training sessions, workshops, and field activities.

  • Safety Compliance: Adhere to all safety guidelines and procedures, and properly use safety equipment and tools.

  • Positive Attitude: Maintain a positive and respectful attitude toward instructors, peers, and the work at hand.

  • Team Collaboration: Work cooperatively with team members, contributing to a supportive and effective working environment.

  • Commitment to Sustainability: Demonstrate a commitment to environmental stewardship and the principles of sustainability in both training and practice.

Employment Opportunities

Applications for Summer 2024 will be open on 4/1/2024

Summer Start: 6/17/2024

Ending Date: 8/16/2024

If you have any questions about these programs, please contact our Operations Director, Genevieve Simard, at gsimard@howardecoworks.org

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