Wisconsin Automotive Truck & Education's Wheels to Work Program Description

  1. Wheels to Work Program Overview
    The Wheels to Work program helps income eligible individuals and families secure reliable and affordable transportation so they can find and keep a job. Its goal is to promote economic self-sufficiency for individuals and families in north central Wisconsin. Wheels to Work funding is jointly provided by the Federal Transit Administration, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Marathon County United Way, and Wisconsin Automotive Truck and Education Association (WATEA).
  2. Wheels to Work Program Eligibility
    1. Participants in the Wheels to Work program need to meet income requirements to be eligible for the program.
    2. Eligible applicants must have a household/family income less than or equal to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, as established by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Eligibility will be established using the following income and documentation:
      1. Income from work, using pay stubs or other employer issued documents, as well as through tax documents;
      2. Child support payments, using bank statements or other forms of documented receipt of payment;
      3. W-2, verified with pay statements or through local provider;
      4. SSI/SSDI, verified with pay statements or bank statements; and
      5. Unemployment, verified with payment stubs and/or bank statements.
    3. Applicants may also have to supply copies of birth certificates, social security cards, and drivers' licenses for all family members.
    4. The Wheels to Work Mobility Manager may perform a background check on an applicant, which can include a criminal background check and a copy of the applicant's driving record from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
    5. Applicants may be required to provide a credit report/history or co-signer for the loan if needed.
    6. Wheels to Work respects the confidentiality of your personal information and will not share this beyond staff involved in the program without your signed consent. Wheels to Work staff may ask you to sign a release of information form in order to request information from organizations outside of the program.
    7. False information knowingly entered on the Wheels to Work application may result in the applicant and his/her immediate family being deemed ineligible or dismissed from the program.
  3. Budget Class
    Wheels to Work program participants must attend three financial literacy and budgeting workshops as part of the program and submit a completed budget to the Mobility Manager showing an ability to repay a loan and associated costs of car ownership. This budget must be approved prior to receiving a loan for donated vehicles or repair.
  4. Maintenance Class
    Wheels to Work program participants must attend a basic vehicle maintenance course prior to taking possession of a repaired or donated vehicle. This course is designed to increase basic automotive knowledge and understanding of the maintenance process participants can maintain their vehicles and maximize the usable lifetime of that resource.
  5. Insurance
    As required by Wisconsin law and the Wheels to Work Policy Agreement, all participants in the Wheels to Work program must obtain or maintain insurance on a vehicle being repaired or obtained. Vehicle insurance will be verified before participant takes possession of a vehicle.
  6. Job Access Loans and Repayment Terms
    Wheels to Work program will make no-interest job access loans to eligible program participants for vehicle repairs or donated vehicles. The intent is that these loans are available once per applicant/participant but extenuating circumstances may be considered during the eligibility determination process with final authorization of extenuating circumstances by the Wheels to Work Advisory Board. The loan repayment period is a maximum of 18 months at a maximum monthly payment of $150 with final terms to be determined between the Mobility Manager and applicant. Full repayment of the loan within the specified time period is the responsibility of the program participant; there is no penalty for early repayment. A brief description of the 2 types of services follows:
    1. Vehicle Repairs

      Wheels to Work vehicle repair services provide cost-effective repairs of vehicles owned by an applicant/participant. Wheels to Work participating repair shops have agreed to make repairs for participants at discounted costs for both parts and labor.

      Working with the Mobility Manager, the applicant/participant must present the vehicle at the Marathon County Job Center. At that point it will be transported to one of the participating Wheels to Work repair shops for an inspection and written estimate. Applicant/participant will be responsible for $29 for the inspection, which can be part of the job access loan. Depending on the repair issue, further diagnostics may be required (at a reduced rate) and may also be added to the job access loan. The Mobility Manager, Forward Service Corporation, and the Wheels to Work Advisory Board will review all vehicle repair requests to ensure that the vehicle is worth repairing by comparing estimated costs against Bluebook value.

      Participating repair shops will need approximately 2 weeks to complete repairs. 

    2. Donated Vehicles

      Under the Wheels to Work program, WATEA receives donated vehicles from private parties and repairs these vehicles to road-ready standards. WATEA then makes these vehicles available through job access loans to Wheels to Work program participants. Loans will be determined based upon the blue book value of the donated vehicle. 


Filename Description Date Added File Size
  2016 Annual Report
03.2017 1.98 MB
  2015 Annual Report
05.2016 1.92 MB
  2017 Annual Report
03.2018 1.79 MB
  2018 Annual Report
05.2019 6.55 MB
  2019 WATEA Annual Report
01.2021 6.75 MB