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'Vehicles For Change' Helps Ex-Cons Transition From Prison To The Workforce

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — This nonprofit is helping people transition from prison to society, giving them the skills they need to re-enter the workforce.

Vehicles for Change is a job training program with a 100 percent success rate, they say. They've been open since 2015, and all 95 graduates have been placed.

Exclusive Motor Cars in Randallstown is partnering with the nonprofit to give people a second chance.

"You don't know what's in store for you once you're released, there are not that many opportunities for a person coming out of prison with limited skills and limited knowledge, you just have to take advantage of this platform that they provide," said Perry Spain, a training program graduate.

After spending 15 years in prison, Spain entered the Vehicles for Change training program with no technical skills and a criminal record.

"It means better opportunities for us, by me being gone for 15 years I wasn't there to provide and assist but now that I am here I can play a major part in my family's future," Spain said.

He started in March of last year, graduated in December 2018 and is now a service technician with Exclusive Motor Cars.

With this program, these individuals are making enough money to buy a house, they're not committing additional crimes, so they are making the community safer.

For men and women transitioning from prison to society, the nonprofit offers a life-changing opportunity- a paid internship with skilled mechanics and technical training.

"The opportunities are phenomenal, and that's the biggest reason individuals do not come back to prison, a job and not just a job, an opportunity to earn a living, and to build a career and that reduces recidivism significantly," said Martin Schwartz, Vehicles For Change president.

After completing the internship, they are placed within the automotive industry.

"I mean frankly being incarcerated could be any one of us, so I really hope it sends the message that everyone deserves a second chance and if you say you haven't had one you're lying," said James Makia, Exclusive Motor Cars president.

A partnership to restore lives for a better future.

Their training centers also offer full service to the public and all the money that goes into them goes back into the program, for locations and information visit their website.

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