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What is UpLift?

A 5-6 month work development program, UpLift, is designed to launch your career in the green industry. Tailored for individuals of all ages, UpLift is a vibrant and inclusive workforce initiative that empowers underserved communities in the Baltimore region. It's your ticket to acquiring hands-on experience in stormwater management, sustainable landscaping, and conservation practices.

We are committed to building the environmental stewards of tomorrow by opening doors to fulfilling careers in the eco-friendly sector. UpLift offers comprehensive hands-on training, education, and certifications geared toward climate action landscaping. We are not just building resilient communities; we are fostering relationships and encouraging growth.

Are you ready to immerse yourself in a transformative experience?

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What Does UpLift Do?

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Sustainable Landscaping

Conservation and sustainable landscaping form the core of our organization, serving as the primary focus of the UpLift 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 developing and maintaining 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.

  • Tree Planting and Maintenance:  Participants in the UpLift program engage in planting and nurturing trees, contributing not only to the aesthetic improvement of our surroundings but also to the vital enhancement of biodiversity and support of local ecosystems.

  • 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, UpLift 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 Howard County.

Training

In the UpLift 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.

  • Rubrics and Self-Evaluation: To ensure continuous improvement and personal growth, participants are engaged in regular self-evaluations. Utilizing tailored rubrics, they assess their skills and progress, setting goals and identifying areas for development.

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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Certification

UpLift program participants have the opportunity to acquire valuable certifications that enhance their skills and credentials in the green industry. These certifications 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.

  • Maryland Department of Environment Responsible Person Certification (Green Card): This certification focuses on sediment and erosion control, ensuring participants have the knowledge and skills to implement environmentally responsible practices.

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

  • OSHA (10): The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10-hour training provides foundational safety knowledge, promoting a secure work environment.

Additional certification can be provided for participates who stay beyond the allotted time frame and express interest in particular green industry fields. Please contact our program manager below.

What to Expect

Here's what a day looks like for an UpLift crew member:

  • We begin our day at 7 am 

  • Crews meet at the office (see address in footer)

  • Crew Leads will take direction from the Foreman on that days tasks

  • Usually, 3-4 crew members are assigned to a crew lead per vehicle.

  • Crews will gather supplies from the office, and trucks + trailers will be readied. 

  • If needed, supplies from the farm will be gathered, additionally plants from our nursery. 

  • Depending on the work, there may be one job that day, or two split between the day. 

  • Lunch is around 11 or noon. 

  • Time is planned for tool return, supply unloading, and returning to the office. 

  • This is a full hour work day from 7 am - 3:30 pm with 1 unpaid 30 min lunch, and two paid 15 min breaks. 

What We Expect

  • 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.

  • Professional Development: Engage in professional development days and actively participate in opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills.

  • Industry Engagement: Show genuine interest in learning about the green industry and exploring various career paths.

  • Self-Evaluation and Reflection: Regularly participate in self-evaluations and reflections to assess your progress and set personal goals.

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

  • Community Interaction: Participate in community activities and projects, representing Howard EcoWorks positively and contributing to community improvement.

  • Feedback Contribution: Provide constructive feedback about the program to help continually improve the experience for future participants.

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

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