[caption id="attachment_225463" align="aligncenter" width="748"] Left to Right: Jennifer Pless, Laura Simpson, and Kevin Fenimore of Bank of America and the Environmental Network present Director of Advancement, Marcia Stephenson, and Executive Director, Vikram Krishnamurthy, of the Delaware Center for Horticulture. | PHOTO COURTESY OF DCH
The Delaware Center for Horticulture (DCH), a local non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community through the power of plants, received a $45,000 grant from Bank of America to support the organization’s Branches to Chances horticultural job skills training and placement program, while improving the economic mobility of the program’s participants.
The Branches to Chances Program provides classroom and hands-on training through professional development in the horticulture and landscape industry. The program focuses on preparing individuals for entry level positions within the horticultural field, while also improving neighborhoods through their work enhancing community greenspace. Participants learn plant identification and care, basic botany, equipment use and safety and landscape maintenance techniques. The knowledge is then applied while working outside in a variety of garden and landscape settings throughout New Castle County. The Branches to Chances Program also provides general life skills training on topics including financial and computer literacy, job interview preparation and personal wellness. Upon completion of this program, participants will be placed with industry partners and provided the opportunity for potential full-time employment.
“Our educational programs are made possible by our supporters. This generous grant supporting the Branches to Chances Program will directly impact the lives and livelihoods of our participants – not only in terms of economic mobility, but in the life skills, character-building and counseling resources that change lives for the better,” Executive Director of the DCH Vikram Krishnamurthy said in a statement. “We appreciate Bank of America’s recognition of how a holistic approach improves lives and our local community, and its continued support of the Delaware Center for Horticulture through this award.”
The grant is part of Bank of America's philanthropic giving efforts in local communities. Awardees were selected for their commitment to addressing basic needs and workforce development for individuals and families.
“Delaware Center for Horticulture is doing important work in our community to create neighborhoods that are healthier, more attractive, and more ecologically sustainable,” Chip Rossi, president of Bank of America Delaware, said. “With this contribution, DCH will continue to improve economic mobility for residents while improving workforce development through the Branches to Chances initiative.”
In addition to the Branches to Chances program, the DCH provides a variety of programs on horticulture, tree planting and care, community gardening and public greening. The DCH facility in Wilmington’s Trolley Square neighborhood hosts events, rentals, and the DCH gardens are free and open to the public year-round.