Out of a dynamic partnership with NAPA and Genuine Parts, the NAPA Auto Center provides training for men and women in 10 areas of auto mechanics. When students complete the program, they graduate with a light repair certification and more control over their future.
The NAPA Auto Center
In November of 2014 Genuine Parts and NAPA outfitted 8,000 square feet of COR warehouse space with state-of-the-art tools, lifts, and parts needed to offer auto tech repair training and certification. The program is a four-month intensive program requiring a 40-hour per week commitment. Students engage in classroom and online training in the mornings and in-shop training in the afternoons. Students participate in performing bulb replacement, brake jobs, diagnostics, tune-ups, water pump replacement, front-end work, and tire mounting, balancing, and alignment. City of Refuge has partnered with United Way of Greater Atlanta and Westside Works to recruit, interview and place candidates in the program.
Serving a Community in Need
According to the latest figures from the US Census Bureau, the westside of Atlanta (specifically the 30314 zip code where City of Refuge is located):
- Holds the highest crime rate per capita in Georgia
- Is believed to have the highest homeless population per capita in the state
- Has more men and women incarcerated (30314 and 30318) than any other zip codes
- Reports a graduation rate of 50%
- Reports adult employment of less than 40%
The program specifically seeks to recruit and serve three of our communities’ neediest populations:
- Veterans returning from military duty and seeking re-training in the field of auto mechanics.
- Those re-entering society from incarceration or drug and alcohol recovery facilities and desiring employment opportunities assisted by a certified training center.
- Students enrolled in Bright Futures Academy (a private Christian school on City of Refuge’s campus) and other local high schools desiring to pursue a Vocational Technical Certification rather than pursuing a college preparatory track of study.
Graduating to Success
Our goal is to graduate 30 adult students each year – including 15 veterans and 15 re-entry students. The Center will serve 6-10 high school students each year on a 2-year training plan that will culminate with their high school graduation. NAPA Hiring Centers will serve as the placement agency and graduates will be employed in the auto service centers around Metro Atlanta. Increasing the economic security of households in our community is crucial to reversing these outcomes. Offering auto-technician training is one means of helping local adult residents increase their job skills and their income. Moreover, offering the program to high school students provides an alternative to college and sets them on a solid path to self-sufficiency.