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Program helps the unemployed get back on the roadErica Scott was shocked by Portland street bicycling scene when she moved here from Baton aOlernKienOP
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Create a Commuter, in what believed to be the first project of its kind in the nation, spreads Portland two aOlernKienOP
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you in transition, you don have as much money to get around on the bus all the time, Scott says. saves me sometimes like $15 a week, depending on the weather. It also keeps your energy up. Alberta St. that promotes bicycling aOlernKienOP
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of our visions is that the bicycle is a vehicle for change, says Zan Gibbs, adult programs coordinator aOlernKienOP
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we found is the retention rate has increased dramatically, says Alison Graves, Community Cycling Center executive director.

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A lack of reliable transportation can dissuade some people from pursuing job interviews or job opportunities. Bus schedules may not fit their work hours, or TriMet may not serve the area they work.

just want to give them another tool to help them get a job, Gibbs says.

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People in the PCC job training program filled in a four page application and listed their measurements. Now Community Cycling Center mechanics are refurbishing old mountain bikes, custom fitting them and adding new components, narrower tires, aOlernKienOP
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PCC Workforce Network places 60 to 80 residents a month into jobs paying an average wage of $10.50 an hour, says Amy Youngflesh, program director.

The idea of bicycle commuting is a stretch for some clients, who might not view biking as a safe way to travel inner city streets, Youngflesh says.

She likes that Create a Commuter dispels stereotypes that biking is just for kids, or for middle class people pedaling to downtown jobs.

Now she frequently sees clients biking to their training programs, biking around town, or biking with their children.

Jennifer Rouse, 38, got her free bike last year, in the same PCC job training cohort that included Erica Scott.

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just think that that all the way around a better way to commute, she says. certainly a greener way to go. Tjepkes Larson was already fitted for her new bike and anticipates getting it after a Feb. 12 bicycling clinic. Tjepkes Larson, 46, who lives near 158th Avenue and Burnside Street, recently was homeless for eight months and is in an addiction treatment program. just kind of like starting over, she says.

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