Full Circle Service Center celebrated one year of business on June 17, 2016. Different from the grandeur of the grand opening, the staff and interns as well as all of Vehicles for Change (VFC) helped celebrate with a cook-out. And what a reason for celebration! The auto repair shop with the little red awnings with a heart has made great strides over the 365-day whirlwind of a year. Last year at the grand opening, when VFC president, Martin Schwartz and the first class of Full Circle interns cut the ribbon, lives were changed and VFC’s entry into a social enterprise was solidified.
Full Circle Service Center is not only a repair shop but it also houses a prison reentry program. In its first year, approximately 30 interns have passed through the doors with 18 techs being placed in full-time employment at dealerships like Antwerpen and MileOne. Other employers include: Eyre Bus Tour and Travel, K. Neal International, and Mr. Tire.
The balance of being a social enterprise is not underestimated. Nonetheless, Full Circle places a great emphasis on service with a heart. Customers consistently rate the shop well (See RepairPal reviews), always pointing out the customer service.
The shop has hosted three car care clinics for women (Women and Wheels), been honored by Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for its prison reentry program and recently hosted the Solutions for Successful Prison Reentry Town Hall Meeting. Full Circle has also placed an emphasis on education, requiring techs to attend classes each day to consistently build their theoretical automotive skills with Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) training and testing. Full Circle techs have gained over 45 ASE certifications.
As Full Circle’s first year goes in the books, the shop will continue to move forward with an eye toward building on the firm foundation that has already been set.