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Detail shop offers hope

July 16, 2014
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BALTIMORE — There’s not always a lot of hope for those with criminal convictions in a city like Baltimore, but Vehicles for Change is making a difference in the lives of ex-cons, according to The Baltimore Sun.

The nonprofit group, which works with those with past criminal convictions, takes vehicles nobody wants, and turns them into reliable transportation for the poor.

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The unemployment rate in Baltimore is 8.5 percent, notes the article, and it can be an especially difficult place for those who grew up in neighborhoods filled with drugs and violence.

Since it opened in September, 36 men have been enrolled at Vehicles for Change’s Center for Automotive Careers Detailing Program. Twenty of those attendees have graduated, and 14 have found jobs, stated the program director Phil Holmes.

The training was originally four weeks, stated the article, but was cut down to two due to the financial demands of the trainees.

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The graduates can work at the garage, earning as much as $65 for a vehicle detailing. One day a week, they have access to the garage to bring in their own clients as well. The goal of the program, however, is for them to find stable jobs where they get to use their training, notes the article.

Rod Kraft, a national detailing trainer for Meguiar’s, recently spoke with a group of trainees, and told them about his 37 years in the industry. "Each one of you [has] your own destiny in your hand," Kraft said to the group, and Vehicles for Change is hoping the program provides a brighter future.

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