Job opportunities are spread out all across Cincinnati. What could be a 15-minute drive from CityLink to Oakley in a car, takes an hour on the Metro. From the West End to Anderson? That’s over two hours on the Metro. You found a job in Loveland? Sorry, the bus line doesn’t go there. Lack of private transportation either eliminates the reach of jobs or dilutes wages through extended commute times.

CityLink Center is expanding into industry training to offer an accessible path to higher-wage careers. In the past year, through incredible partnerships, we’ve launched Findlay Culinary Training with Findlay Market, Cable Technician Training with Per Scholas, and Construction Training with Cornerstone Construction. 

These programs, as well as our additional employment programming, are leading to job opportunities, but those jobs are spread out all across the city. Construction and Cable Tech jobs require individuals to work ‘scattered site’ or move from job to job across the city during the week or even during the same day.

ChangingGears has been doing an incredible job equipping our clients with long-term, sustainable transportation through their vehicle purchase program.  The program has a 98% loan completion rate and requires that individuals must first have a job with a stable income to budget for a car with SmartMoney. Clients complete workshops on vehicle ownership and put in “Sweat Equity” in advance of their purchase. Gaining the income and stability required for the purchase process can take anywhere from 1 month to 1 year but sets up clients for success in the long term. 

Recognizing graduates from training programs need a car on day one for their new careers, ChangingGears and our team put our heads together to crack this issue of needing a car to have a job and needing a job to have a car creating the “Bridge Program”. 

The 9-Month Bridge Program is a sale that has monthly payments to ChangingGears. All repairs are covered as part of this monthly payment. At the end of the 9 months, clients can return the car and receive 25% of their payments back to put towards a permanent vehicle or pay the vehicle off with a lump-sum payment. 

During the 9-month period, clients will work with their financial coach and save a down-payment towards their permanent transportation solution and we have worked with a lender to ensure that individuals will have access to a lender.  We are excited for ChangingGears to pilot this innovative and scalable program to end the trap of needing a car to get a job and needing a job to get a car. 

The deep partnerships at CityLink allow us to co-create new and innovative solutions to the persistent challenges our neighbors and communities face. ChangingGears accepts any car in any condition, if you have a car you would like to donate to fuel this program find out how here.