High Point

New Jersey Citizen Action Rolls Out Wheels in Motion

Unique Public-Private Partnership Launched!

High Point — Saturday, September 11, 2010

Newark, NJ — Under a tent, amid mechanics servicing automobiles, New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA), the state's largest consumer watchdog organization, rolled out a new unique program, Wheels in Motion, targeted at young adults participating in a youth transition to work program.

"This exciting program is a perfect example of how a collaborative effort, supported by a union, an employer, a bank and an insurance company will increase career opportunities for low- and moderate-income high school students and recent graduates living in New Jersey," stated Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, Executive Director of New Jersey Citizen Action.

This comprehensive program was created with the assistance of Local 108 RWDSU-UFCW, the union that runs the Youth Transition to Work Program for Strauss Discount Auto. "We are proud to be sponsoring this innovative loan program to help smooth the way for our young apprentices," stated Charles Hall Jr., President of Local 108 RWDSU-UFCW.

Other partners in the Pilot Program include PNC Bank and Highpoint Auto Insurance Group. By combining below market rate auto loans, discounted auto insurance and financial education classes, Wheels in Motion will help young adults purchase cars to get them to their jobs. "Our support of NJCA's Wheels in Motion Loan Program will provide below market rate financing to young adults in need of affordable transportation to get to work," stated William Best, Senior Vice President and Northeast territory Manger for PNC Community Development Banking.

Young Adults on a non-college vocational track need the training and skills that can be provided through apprenticeship programs, but are often unable to take advantage of these opportunities because they have no means of affordable transportation to take them to and from work.

Jim Tignanelli, President of High Point Auto Insurance Group stated, "High Point Auto Insurance Group is proud to join with the other partners by offering participants auto insurance at a ten percent (10%) discount. Being part of Wheels in Motion is one of the many ways we are working to make a difference in the community."

In announcing his support of the program, Glen Rubin, Vice President for Store Operations at Strauss Discount Auto stated, "this program reinforces our commitment to developing our future workforce within the communities that support us."

Ronald Dukes, a student entering the program, also attended the event. He is a recent graduate of Newark Public School Academy High School. A resident of Newark who took Auto Shop Class in high school, Ronald is really looking forward to beginning the apprenticeship program in September. He does not have a car and is a prime candidate to take advantage of the opportunity afforded by this new program.

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