Thursday September 28, 2017
Vermont Governor Phil Scott was in South Burlington last week for a meaningful ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 Gregory Drive. It was September 20, the day Spectrum Youth and Family Services celebrated the grand opening of Detail Works, the organization’s car-detailing social enterprise, which employs young people who access Spectrum services in a supportive atmosphere to help them build on-the-job skills for future success. Founded in 1970, Spectrum is a nationally recognized leader in helping youth ages 12 to 26 and their families turn their lives around. Their programs for youth are centered in Burlington, St. Albans, and now in South Burlington, too.
Spectrum Executive Director Mark Redmond said, “We’re tremendously grateful to the City of South Burlington for welcoming Detail Works. Our neighbors on Gregory Drive have been very supportive and encouraging, and we want to thank you all for these partnerships.”
Community leaders and stakeholders attended the Detail Works grand opening. Governor Scott addressed the young people working at the new enterprise, “What a lot of energy you have. I couldn’t be more proud of everything that you’ve accomplished thus far. So, congratulations to you.” To attendees, he added, “They couldn’t accomplish all of this without all of your support. Thinking outside the box about what we can do to help our youth, and to give them the skills that they’ll need in the future, is something that’s really incredible.”
Along with the Governor, South Burlington City Manager Kevin Dorn, and representatives from the offices of Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Peter Welch were in attendance, along with Representative Ann Pugh. Redmond from Spectrum, Detail Works General Manager Mike Cioffi, and Youth Coordinator Justin Verette delivered brief remarks.
Redmond and the Detail Works staff expressed deep gratitude to dozens of community supporters, including Cynthia Hoehl, whose initial gift made the program a reality, along with investments from the UVM Medical Center and the Vermont Community Foundation. “Here’s a note I got today from one of our staff,” said Redmond, “The mood around Drop-In for Detail Works employees is different than before. There is a pride and excitement. The ownership the youth show for the space, and the operation, is truly evident.”
Verette remarked, “I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for this crew standing behind me. These kids are the reason I come every day. And it’s just awesome to see their smiles and how excited they get when they’re here. They’ve just been rocking and rolling.”
One Detail Works staff member, a young person who accesses Spectrum’s services, told the crowd, “The biggest thing that I love about working here is knowing that each and every one of you here tonight supports all of us. You give us more support than we’ve had in our lives.”
Spectrum’s mission is to empower teenagers, young adults, and their families to make and sustain positive changes through prevention, intervention, and life skills services. Detail Works is poised to meet that mission. The staff emphasize attention, communication, and accountability, and give youth a chance to try out these skills in a safe environment, while also learning a valuable trade. Since its soft launch, the enterprise has detailed over 130 cars.