Giving Compass’ Take:
• The Annie E. Casey Foundation profiles one of its grantee recipients: the Automotive Training Center in Atlanta, which helps expand career opportunities for at-risk local youth.
• The efforts in this program show how community-focused interventions can have an impact, especially in the area of workforce training. How can we support more of them?
The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Atlanta Civic Site supports the resident-led Community Investment Fund (CIF), which awards small grants to local leaders. This blog-post series highlights how recipients used their grants to improve the lives of young people and families in Atlanta’s Neighborhood Planning Unit V (NPU-V).
In this post, Larry Witherspoon, co-founder and executive director of the Automotive Training Center, shares how two CIF grants have helped expand career opportunities for young people in Southwest Atlanta.
“The Automotive Training Center’s primary focus is employment, because it’s the number-one factor in preventing people from reentering jail or prison. We equip young people ages 15–25 who are on probation or at risk of incarceration with the skills and connections they need to start a career in the automotive repair industry. Beyond that, we work with them to instill three core values: confidence, work ethic and a passion for learning.
“We want young people to leave the program with these three things and with the energy to focus their minds and bodies on everything they want to accomplish. These are smart, bright kids who just need someone to believe in them and help them see the gifts and talents they already have.
“Program basics: Our eight-week entry-level technician program helps participants master everything from oil changes to tire replacements and vehicle inspections. Young people get hands-on experience with real customers, and they are getting an opportunity to earn money while they train for bigger career opportunities. When they complete the program, we connect them with dealerships and independent shops in the area.”
Read the full article about careers in automotive repair as community investment at The Annie E. Casey Foundation.
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