National Oil & Lube News

May 2017

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38 NOLN | www.noln.net idea to help engage those who need some help." Hunter, who has been a CEO for a num- ber of organizations, came from a tradi- tional, professional business background and was hired by the First Baptist Church to buy the property and to develop and manage the businesses. After acquiring the property in December 2015, First Lube Plus opened in July 2016 and is operated as a for-profit entity with a mission to fulfill that original vision to help those who need a little help. is is reflected in the shop's hiring practices, job training and mentor- ing program. "Like a lot of communities around the country, there are those people who are doing well, but many others who are still struggling to get back on their feet," Hunter said. e focus of First Lube Plus is, thus, more than just to pro- vide a quality automotive ser- vice to the downtown Salem population, as it also offers jobs and mentoring to recent parolees and other struggling members of the downtown community. The Deal with the Art One of the individuals who has benefitted from this program is David Campos, who since being hired at First Lube Plus has become an accomplished technician, mainly because of his desire to do things correctly. He is grateful for this opportunity to put his life back on track af- ter serving time in jail. Campos has already left his mark — and quite a bit more — on the walls outside First Lube Plus. He painted the massive mural of the Camaro and is quite proud of this accomplishment and the attention it has brought to the shop. While he was someone who always had artistic skills, he honed those while behind bars. "I've been drawing and doodling for as long as I can remember," Campos said. "I didn't know how good I could be until I had that extra time, and as I had a lot of time in jail I worked on it and found out I was pretty good." Now embracing change, Campos said he has gotten rid of the bad elements of his life and will instead focus on his two pas- sions – art and automobiles. e way he has embraced each does bring a smile to faces. "I work hard on the cars and with my art; I like to see the expressions on people's fac- es," Campos said. "I'm always envisioning the next piece of artwork, too, and want to continue to improve how I do it." is includes experimenting with draw- ing, painting and other aspects of art – and, most importantly, he said it keeps him out of trouble and keeps him free. At the same time Campos, who had little skill working on cars, has now learned a new work skill that will help ensure he stays free and on the right side of the law. "I've learned a lot since I've been here, but I admit that every day is still a learn- ing experience," he said modestly. "I try to get better at my job every single day. is is about working hard and trying to do the best I can while taking care of some- one's car. is isn't about taking the easy route." Campos has tried to share his love of art and provided some art for First Lube Plus. "Any time I see a blank wall, I can see it as a can- vas," Campos said. "When I met Steve, he started to see what I was capable of not only as a possible tech- nician but also as an artist. He took a chance with me in both ways, and he gave me a shot to show my stuff on the wall. We agreed, if it didn't look good we could always paint over it!" Far from being an eyesore the mural has become a statement piece that has earned the respect of local artists, the community and, of course, the daily customers. "I'll be honest; this was my first mural on David Campos, technician at First Lube Plus in Salem, Oregon, has been using his art skills to add some character to the shop.

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