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Vehicles for Change, Inc.

Since 1999, the Abell Foundation has supported Vehicles for Change (VFC) in making low-cost cars available to low-income job seekers in Baltimore City. In 2015, with funding from Abell, VFC launched an automotive technician repair program.  VFC hires men and women who have been recently released from prison or who have been granted work release (usually in small cohorts of seven to eight people).  All program applicants have successfully completed the 600-hour Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Auto Maintenance and Light Repair training program while incarcerated.  At VFC, they receive three to five months of paid work experience, earning $9 an hour.  The on-the-job experience is designed to build the trainees’ resumes and overcome any reservations that employers have about hiring returning citizens.  All trainees must pass at least four ASE certification tests.   The program is working:  of the 114 trainees who enrolled since the beginning of the program, only four have not completed because they were on work release and had to return to prison.  All of the 110 graduates have been placed into employment, with an average starting hourly wage of $16 per hour.  Funding from Abell will support the training and job placement of 12 Baltimore residents.

Baltimore, MD
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