Top Workplaces 2016

Rummel Klepper & Kahl LLP

Danielle Brock started at the Baltimore civil engineering rm Rummel Klepper & Kahl LLP as an intern the summer before her senior year of college, was asked to return for winter break and continued to work there after she graduated.

“Two main things stood out to me,” she recalled. “The type of projects that we get and the longevity of those who work here.”

It’s been 11 years since her first day as an intern. Brock is now a project engineer in RK&K’s site development group and has been involved with projects as momentous as the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

“I’ve done small projects, and then I’ve had the Smithsonian,” Brock said. “I get to touch a little bit of everything.”

That’s part of the allure of RK&K, which is headquartered in Baltimore and has about 1,200 employees at 22 offices in eight states and Washington. The civil engineering consulting firm’s work also extends to designing roads, bridges and mass transit, including the Purple Line in Maryland; construction management, inspection and engineering; and environmental projects such as stormwater and wastewater management.

The workforce ranges in age from recent college graduates all the way up to people who joined after retiring from positions with the government or with some of RK&K’s clients.

“It’s a really unique environment,” said Bill Wood, RK&K’s human resources manager. “They are able to share experiences and new techniques and new technology between different, diverse backgrounds.”

That has helped Brian Grandizio grow over the course of a decade from his own college internship to a role as an entry-level engineer and now as a project manager.

“There are folks who take you under their wing and aren’t afraid to go through the time to train you properly and bring you up in your career the right way,” he said. “Everybody’s always ready to lend a hand. The doors aren’t shut anywhere. You can walk in and get feedback from your boss just as easily as if you were talking with one of your peers.”

RK&K also offers the usual benefits, plus perks and events such as company picnics, holiday parties, gifts for employees on their work anniversaries, and on-site professional development seminars.

“If we take care of our employees and teach them the way we want things done, they’ll take care of our clients,” Wood said. “It’s good business. They’ll take care of our company. We also understand that being someplace that they’re going to have fun and enjoy coming to can get the best out of them. It really is about giving that work/life balance.”

Brock described her colleagues as a family, even those she doesn’t work with on a regular basis, and even when they are states away. Staff at RK&K often will contribute to projects taking place in another part of the country.

The former intern who was impressed by the longevity of RK&K’s employees — and is still at the first job she had out of college — hopes that she, too, will enjoy a lengthy tenure.

“I would love to be here my whole career,” Brock said. “I feel like I’ve learned a lot and grown a lot. There’s a lot of room for growth and niches I can go into. I can do it all by staying here.”

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