Car Donations IMPACT Job Opportunities for Low-Income FAMILIES
Vehicles for Change is a car donation non-profit organization dedicated to bringing low-income families in the Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C. and Detroit areas access to affordable and reliable cars. Vehicles for Change depends on car donations for their refurbishment process. After they repair the cars, those vehicles are sold for as low as $750 to eligible families in the area.
Of the 5,000 families that Vehicles for Change has helped since 1999, 75% saw an increase in wage earnings and/or got a better job. With an average of a $7,000 increase in annual wages in just the first year after buying a car from Vehicles for Change, there is no question about the importance car ownership plays in earning potential and job prospects. With vehicle access, low-income workers are able to gain promotions and improve their families’ financial circumstance through hard work and determination. Car donations from generous community members like you help Vehicles for Change empower low-income families.
Link Between Unemployment and Transportation
Studies have shown a strong link between unemployment and inadequate access to reliable transportation. Researchers say about 25% of Baltimore area residents who are currently unemployed or underemployed cite the lack of transportation access as one of their primary barriers to employment. Without a reliable vehicle, many low-income workers are not competitive in today’s job market. When companies move locations, many individuals are forced to give up their position due to transportation related issues. Car donations help place and keep low-income workers into the job market.
Accessing Growing Job Markets
Vehicles for Change recently studied the impact vehicle access plays in Baltimore and Washington D.C. metro area job markets. In the Baltimore metro area, 54% of jobs are accessible by public transportation from low-income areas. However, of these accessible jobs, 54% require high-level skills, which the majority of low-income workers do not have. Consequently, of the jobs accessible by public transportation, only 29% are low-skill jobs and 17% are middle-skill jobs. In addition, some of the areas near Baltimore that are expected to see the most job growth, like around the airport, are inaccessible to low-income families relying solely on public transportation.
The Washington D.C. metro area is home to an even tougher job market. Only 46% of jobs are accessible by public transportation from predominantly low-income areas, and over 65% are reserved for highly trained and skilled workers. Only 24% of accessible jobs are low-skill level, and 10% are middle-skill jobs. Car donations that provide low-income families access to affordable jobs help them reach a market inaccessible by public transportation.
More Job Opportunities
For individuals looking to gain employment or improve their employment status, car ownership can be a primary factor. Without a vehicle, your job search will be limited to those positions located in areas you can reach by foot or public transit. When workers own a car, they cast a wider net and are more competitive in their job search.
These newfound means give low-income workers the opportunity to make decisions about which jobs to take, as opposed to being forced into one of the few jobs available in their neighborhood. Vehicles for Change states that three-quarters of their participants improve their job earnings by an average of $7,000 in the first year after buying a vehicle. The simple fact of a greater area of job possibilities is a key factor in upward mobility and improvement to a family’s financial circumstances. Your car donation will allow members of a low-income family to increase employment opportunities and improve their situation.
Car Donations Make Shorter Commutes
Car donations made to Vehicles for Change have had a direct effect on average commute times for low-income families. On average, workers who own a vehicle spend 90 minutes less each day on commuting to and from work. The Walk In Their Shoes Program run by Vehicles for Change seeks to provide insight into the difficulty of not owning a car to encourage policy makers and community members to support the organization and promote car donations.
Car Owners Miss Less Work
Another study performed by Vehicles for Change showed car ownership was linked to fewer days of missed work. Relying on public transportation causes many workers to miss work, but through car donations, low-income families gain transportation access. A full 75% of participants reported missing fewer days of work after buying their car through Vehicles for Change’s car donation program.
Vehicles Linked to Punctuality
Even when individuals are able to make it to work, many low-income workers who use public transportation are late due to unreliable transit schedules, lengthy walks and bus rides. The inconsistency of public transportation is often the reason low-income workers are overlooked for promotion. Several hours of travel make it a struggle to get to work on time for many families without a car. Car donations help families find an affordable way to get to work on time.
Increased Wages with Vehicle Access
Eligible families participating in Vehicles for Change’s car donation program experience a significant increase in wages after just one year of owning their vehicle. Many earn around $7,000 more each year compared to before they owned their vehicle. While there are many factors contributing to this trend, it all starts with your car donation.
Through your car donation, low-income families can cast a wider net and improve job status. They are able to show up to work on time and more frequently, can accommodate extra shifts, and enjoy quality time with their family due to a shorter commute. These factors contribute to an overall improvement in employment status, which translates to promotions and raises that these individuals deserve. Combined, it all adds up to a better quality of life.
Car Donations Benefit Businesses Too
Car donations do not just help individual families; they help businesses too. When low-income individuals are forced to give up their job because of a relocation or change in available transit, the company has to fill that position. Having to hire and retrain new staff costs money, and is a situation that could have been easily avoided.
Low-income workers are often forced out of jobs by changing circumstances related to transportation, which ultimately hurts local businesses. Donating your car to Vehicles for Change could help keep someone at their job by freeing them from the rigid chains of public transportation and enabling them to adapt to relocation.
When you make a car donation to Vehicles for Change, your contribution will be used to provide a family in need with a car that can help improve job prospects and earning potential.