Teaching the disabled how to service cars
Devereux has completed a $350,000 renovation to The Auto Shop, which is part of a vocational, job-training program for adults in the Philadelphia region with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
A Devereux Auto Shop employee from Berwyn vacuums and cleans a minivan with new equipment at the renovated shop.
The Auto Shop is one of the Villanova-based nonprofit, behavioral health-care organization’s programs designed to teach life skills and "help individuals reach their full potential in a work environment that is comfortable and promotes social and emotional resilience."
Renovations at the site include a fourth bay for car washing, vacuuming and full-service automotive detailing and a new waiting area with a formal registration desk to enhance customer experience. New emissions equipment will permit all state inspections to be completed on site, which is a licensed Pennsylvania state inspection station.
Carol Oliver, Devereux’s vice president of operations and Pennsylvania state director, said the service expansions made during the renovations “will both help grow the shop customer base and provide more learning opportunities for employed individuals.”
Under the supervision of a certified mechanic, individuals with disabilities assist in a variety of jobs including oil changes, tune-ups, tire rebalancing and replacement, car detailing and brake repairs.
In 2012, The Auto Shop served more than 200 customers. The site completes an average of 100 inspections each year.
Devereux is hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the shop at 10 a.m. on Friday, during which lead donors Jack Tamagni and David Reichwein will be presented with a lifetime service card for their support of the redesign.
Also part of Devereux’s job-training Shops program are an apparel shop, bike shop, floral shop, greenhouse, pewter shop along with mobile work and cleaning crews and packaging, assembly and clerical work.