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MTA to work with Vehicles For Change to give ex-offenders a second chance

12/16/2016, 6 a.m.
Automotive technicians are among the positions to be filled at the MTA
Vehicles for Change will refer participants from their program to the MTA for employment consideration for mechanical positions. MTA will interview and potentially hire candidates based on their suitability for open positions. Courtesy Photo

— The Maryland Department of Transportation’s Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the non-profit organization Vehicles for Change that will allow some ex-offenders with proper automotive training backgrounds to be considered for employment at the MTA as bus mechanics.

Governor Larry Hogan was joined by MTA Administrator and CEO Paul Comfort, Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and Vehicles for Change President Martin Schwartz at a ceremony to officially recognize the agreement.

“Our administration has been working tirelessly to create an environment of economic opportunity for every Marylander,” said Governor Hogan. “Through this new partnership between Vehicles for Change and the Maryland Transit

Administration, individuals who have paid their debt to society will get a second chance, and the MTA will be able to meet their demand for qualified mechanics.”

Candidates for the positions received training in automotive technology from the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) Correctional Education Staff while incarcerated. Upon their release, they receive more advanced automotive technician training from Vehicles for Change while being paid.

Vehicles for Change will refer participants from their program to the MTA for employment consideration for mechanical positions and MTA will interview and potentially hire candidates based on their suitability for open positions.

“This agreement is a win for the MTA and for the community," said MTA Administrator and CEO Paul Comfort. "MTA has a need for qualified mechanics and Vehicles for Change will help us fill that need by connecting men and women to jobs that will transform their lives with a second chance at meaningful employment."

The MTA and Vehicles for Change will monitor the program and track its successes.