ARPA Cars to Work Program Update

The Cars to Work programs in Dickenson and Tazewell counties have highlighted the community’s need for safe and reliable transportation.

Samantha, Dickenson County Cars to Work recipient

The Workforce Development Board received grants from the Dickenson and Tazewell Boards of Supervisors’ American Rescue Plan Act funding to pilot a vehicle assistance program in each county. Dickenson County granted $50,000, and Tazewell County granted $100,000. Eligible individuals can receive a no-interest loan to purchase a $5,000 or less vehicle. Recipients will pay half of the cost back in $100 per month payments. The WDB will assist more people as money flows back into the program until funds are exhausted.

The program has helped people like Samantha get a vehicle for transportation to work and allowed her to take care of day-to-day errands, like taking her children to school.

Case manager Robyn Davis worked with Samantha on budgeting and talked to her about what kind of vehicle she needed. Since Samantha has a large family, she knew she needed something big to accommodate everyone. Sarah Bundy, WDB Finance Director, was able to find a Mercury Mountaineer in excellent condition within budget.

Samantha’s Mercury Mountaineer

The program officially launched in Tazewell County in early April. Savannah was able to use the Youth Program’s $1,000 down payment assistance and the Cars to Work Program together to get a work truck. If you remember, back in February’s newsletter, we talked about how Savannah had just graduated from farrier school in Oklahoma. She told her case manager, Lisa Hubbard: “The truck that [the] workforce [program]… helped me get fits me perfect[ly] for the jobs I do. [I]t’s the perfect height for my anvil to work on shoes and makes it so much easier to get my equipment in. It also is better on gas, so if I have to go far off to a horse, I don’t have to worry about gas as much. I’m so thankful for everything they have done for me.”

Tazewell Co. Cars to Work recipient, Savannah, with her work truck: a Chevy Colorado

There is a tremendous amount of work involved on behalf of our case managers, and we appreciate them so much for helping make this a successful program. Even though the initial funding in both counties is almost exhausted, those that received a vehicle will start making payments, and we will soon be able to begin serving people again.