Laytonsville, MD – On Thursday, April 20th, approximately 35 employees from Ruppert’s corporate office and 10 residents from Our House, a residential job skills training program for at-risk youth, worked in concert to install a new landscape at the center’s campus in Brookeville, MD.
As part of Ruppert’s ongoing community service program, the Maryland-based company hosted the event with both employees and some residents of the program planted 10 trees (ranging in size from 7’ to 15’ tall), 750 perennials, and 100 shrubs; and laid mulch, compost, and fertilizer in an effort to improve the aesthetics of the facility and newly constructed residential building. A combination of deciduous and evergreen plant material was chosen to provide color and texture, and perennials were selected to ensure they’d come back year after year and require little upkeep by the staff at Our House. The total value of the campus renovation with time and materials was approximately $7,500 and upon completion, over 100 man-hours will have been invested.
Ruppert provided skills training to Our House residents and its corporate staff prior to the event, with instruction on plant quality, proper tool usage, and planting techniques.
The Our House program began 24 years ago and has expanded steadily from a seed grown by one man, Richard Bienvenue, to its current award-winning program, which has gained national attention. Last year, construction was largely completed on a new building which will house up to 24 young men and will add capacity for the organization to assist newly graduated young men to live onsite for another 1-2 years while gaining financial stability.
“We are so thankful that Ruppert has partnered with Our House on this project,” said Lori Hecox, Community Liaison for Our House. “This helps illustrate another potential career path for our young men and instills the lesson that ‘hard work pays off,’ which we try to teach every day.”
Many of the young men at Our House have been in the juvenile justice system or in very bad living situations, and this program provides a calm and supportive environment for them while giving them an opportunity to gain job skills, get an education and garner the life skills necessary to live as productive and independent adults.
“With Our House being located within just a few miles of our corporate campus, we felt like this partnership made sense and enabled our corporate staff to get directly involved in giving back to our community,” said Phil Key, president. “We enjoy hands-on projects like this because we feel it gives our team members a greater connection to what’s being donated. We want them to link what they do—whether they work in our accounting department or a field position—to our profitability, which ultimately enables us to give back to great causes in our community like this.
Located on a 140-acre farm in Montgomery County, MD, Our House is a residential job skills training program for at-risk adolescent boys that provides construction skills training during the day and required schooling at night. Additionally, the organization’s young men are engaged in state-of-the-art certified organic gardening, engine repair, beekeeping, various components of carpentry, computer skills, personal skills, and GED training, as well as weekly community service projects. Since opening its doors in 1993, over 382 youths have graduated, and most are living and working in their communities as independent and successful adults. For more information, visit our-house.org.
Ruppert Landscape, a family and employee-owned business, provides commercial landscape construction and management with 20 branches serving eight primary markets in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Richmond, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta and Houston. The company has a long-standing tradition of growing its team and giving back to the community. Visit us at www.ruppertlandscape.com.