Here at Alvis, we are dedicated to ensuring everyone in our programs has the opportunity to participate in activities that lay the groundwork for their success. Individuals in our reentry programs and in our programs for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (DD) often lack any real world work experience. Alvis’ social enterprise programs were created to offer opportunities to gain work experience, develop leadership skills, and secure their own income. Alvis has two social enterprise programs: Transitions Enterprise provides commercial cleaning services and Nature’s Touch Landscaping & Lawn Care services provide green solutions to address household and commercial landscaping needs. For this blog, we will focus on Nature’s Touch.
Reentry clients interested in the Nature’s Touch pathway begin by completing the Green Infrastructure Workforce Development Training Columbus State Community College. Individuals with some previous landscaping experience can enter into this career pathway, too.
Alvis first began working with the Green Infrastructure Workforce Development project through grant funding that provided the means for clients to participate in training. This education gives individuals a chance to positively contribute to Central Ohio while collaborating with others toward a common goal: a greener, healthier community. At the conclusion of the program, clients earn a Green Infrastructure Landscape Certificate and OSHA10 certification. This qualifies them for employment with the Blueprint Columbus project of the Columbus Department of Public Works as well as with positions in Nature’s Touch.
Today, the Nature’s Touch customer list has expanded from five to 30 properties. This growth allows Nature’s Touch to employ more clients. By attaining new skills and work experience, clients who begin working in Nature’s Touch are able to move on to sustainable positions in the industry; and some have even created their own landscaping and lawn care business.
Alvis clients are grateful for the second chance they now have for sustainable, living wage employment. They are also able to tell new clients how it is possible to regain personal confidence and stature even in the face of stigmas surrounding justice involvement. It shows those in our programs that endless options are available to all clients, if they just make the choice to seek them out and work diligently toward their own success.
We commend those who have participated in these programs for their dedication to creating a more positive lifestyle for themselves and their families! To hear how some of these clients feel about being a part of the program, check out this testimonial video here
Alvis is a nonprofit human services agency with over 50 years of experience providing highly effective treatment programs in Ohio. Our vision is that communities value a person’s potential more than their past. For more information on how Alvis can help you or to learn more about how you can get involved, contact us here.