Vehicles to Work: Getting People the Transportation They Need to Succeed

Posted on July 2, 2023

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Good paying jobs and worthwhile careers are often difficult to access without reliable transportation. In some fields, having access to a car is essential to success. However, transportation remains a barrier for people trying to gain financial and employment stability. 

As a means to address this challenge, CenterState CEO in partnership with the Syracuse Community Center Collaborative launched the Vehicles to Work program. To date, this program has helped 24 people gain or maintain access to a vehicle.  

Most of those utilizing the Vehicles to Work program are participants in the Syracuse Build Pathways to Apprenticeship program, which helps to prepare city of Syracuse residents for a career in the construction field. Often having to drive to varying locations, individuals working in construction need to have access to a vehicle in order to fulfill their job duties. 

The process to obtain a driver's license, costly repairs and necessary administrative work can all be roadblocks to a job if a person does not have a support system to help them navigate and sustain car ownership. This is especially acute in low income and historically marginalized communities. 

Vehicles to Work aims to be a version of that support system. Through the program, the Westcott Community Center now has staff dedicated to helping people gain or maintain a vehicle. This staff can help an individual with everything from driver's license restoration and Department of Motor Vehicle paperwork to finding the right car insurance and acquiring funds to purchase or repair a vehicle. 

CenterState CEO has helped lead the effort to bring together a number of community partners to provide professional and efficient services through the Vehicles to Work program. That network of partners allows service providers to focus on their field of expertise, and it increases individuals' chance of long term and sustainable vehicle ownership. In addition to the Westcott Community Center serving as a physical hub for the program, other partners include: 

 

  •  Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union: Assist people who cannot access traditional car loans acquire the funding necessary for a vehicle.  
  • Volunteer Lawyers Project: Help those who had their license suspended or taken away clean up their record and restore their license.  
  • Syracuse Financial Empowerment Center: Teach individuals how to best manage the costs associated with vehicle ownership, including monthly payments, repair costs, and basic budgeting.  

As CenterState CEO designs programs that help build a stronger, more diverse workforce for Central New York, partners remain critical. To find out how you can support the Vehicles to Work program, contact Alissa Tubbs.

Photo caption: Rupert Jorgensen graduated from the Pathways to Apprenticeship program and utilized the Vehicles to Work program to acquire reliable car access.

 

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