by Chastity Pratt Dawsey Bridge Magazine

Last year, Lamont Allen was one of the 10,000 people in the Flint area without a job. Worse, he had low job skills, a prison record and no car.

Forty miles south, at least 800 manufacturing jobs were waiting, unfilled in Livingston County.

Then, in December, business, nonprofit and transportation officials came up with a partnership that connected jobs in Livingston County to Flint residents who were eager for work but lacked a vehicle to get there.

“If you would’ve told me that there were so many people interested in helping people in Flint with a background like mine, I wouldn’t have believed you,” Allen said. “I didn’t believe what was on my resume would get me a job – that’s not being negative. It’s just that it’s very difficult.”

As a result of this program, Allen, 57, gets on a public bus just before 4 p.m. in Flint three to four days a week and takes a 45-minute ride to Howell to work at Tribar Manufacturing, which makes products for the automotive industry.

Within four months, this new job, with its 12-hour shifts and $11 per-hour income, has led to Allen getting a driver’s license for the first time since the 1980s. And a car.

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