For more than 15 years, Bernard Cook worked for a non-profit organization. His daily mission was saving at-risk youth in his community as director of the Dallas Austin Foundation, Inc. in
Atlanta. But soon after obtaining his MBA from Georgia State University last December and being faced with a large student loan tab, Cook found himself unemployed.
Along with millions of other laid off Americans, Cook searched for a new career. Then, he decided to create one. Cook joined the “Go Green Movement” and opened A Plus Windshield
Repair and Headlight Restoration in 2010. The company is an eco-friendly alternative headlight and windshield replacement. Because of A Plus Georgia’s landfills have a little less plastic and glass. Cook has discovered a way to help both his community and the environment while also finding a way to navigate away from the unemployment lines. The A Plus process is simple. A Plus technicians work to repair, rather than replace, scratched and discolored headlights that present safety concerns to the driver.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says discolored headlights not only limit driver visibility, but they also increase glare for oncoming drivers leading to accident
conditions. In most cases, those headlights and cracked windshields can be fixed.
“That’s why I try to educate customers about repairing and refurbishing,” Cook said. “If you call your dealership and tell them you need another headlight, they are going to charge you
anywhere from $300 to $600. With me, it’s going to cost you about $100.” Cook charges just a fraction of the $1,600 some companies charge to replace a windshield by repairing cracks of up to 12 inches. The finished work, whether it’s to a windshield or headlight, looks not unlike a brand new product, Cook said.
“I just had my headlights restored, and wow, what a difference,” according to a Google customer review. “Mr. Bernard Cook came the same day I called, explained the difference about replacing new ones (versus) restoration. He was very friendly and professional. I would highly recommend him. Job well done.”
From unemployed to business owner to job creator over the course of a year, Bernard Cook proves there are avenues to success despite the economic downturn. Business at A Plus is
growing and Cook is looking to expand and grow his green business.