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Baltimore’s Top Workplaces, large No. 2: Flexibility is part of the plan at RK&K

Flexibility is one of the many reasons Shilpa Kodkani said she loves working for RK&K, a Baltimore-based engineering, planning and construction management firm that works nationwide.

Kodkani, a project manager for the structures department, started at RK&K in 2004 and worked 40 hours a week on everything from bridges to retaining wall projects. But after having her two children, she wanted to reduce her hours so she could volunteer once a week at her children’s school. Without hesitation, RK&K allowed her to work four days a week on a 32-hour schedule.

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“That has helped me stay in the workforce,” Kodkani said. “It’s one of the great aspects of this job and of this company. They let you have that flexibility to do your work and do it on your own time.”

Founded in 1923, RK&K has more than 1,300 employees in 32 branch offices across the United States. Along with flexible schedules, the company offers tuition reimbursement, weekly breakfasts for employees and regular social events. And on Nov. 1, the company began offering fully paid parental leave.

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“We want to ensure we’re being thoughtful and considerate for families as folks are thinking about starting or adding to the family,” said Ken Ackerman, the firm’s human resources manager.

The company also is committed to professional development, he said. In January, RK&K launched a project management certificate course developed in partnership with Johns Hopkins University. The six-month online course is for current project managers or employees who may become project managers in the near future. Kodkani was one of the first participants.

“For me, RK&K fosters a great environment and empowers any individual to reach their full potential,” she said. “There’s a lot of people with a lot of experience that you can learn from, and everybody has an open-door policy so you can definitely reach out to people, which I feel is a huge asset for any engineer who wants to learn and grow.”

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