EVERYBODY'S BUSINESS: Transportation program, another expo in the works

Oct. 13, 2013 @ 05:02 AM

After waiting for months, Sanford Job Express has finally received its non-profit status and is scheduled to be operational by early 2014.

Bill Cline started Job Express after having attended meetings for unemployed people for a while, many of whom said they were running into the same barrier for employment: a lack of reliable transportation.

So Cline decided to fill that need. He filed as a non-profit to make fundraising easier, and now that he has defeated the IRS bureaucracy, he's starting that fundraising. Cline already has several grant applications in and is now also appealing to local citizens and businesses for help. He said he wants to buy two 15-person vans to kick off a six-month pilot program serving just a few large employers; there's also a chance the vans could be used as public transportation in the middle of the day.

If the pilot goes well, Cline said he plans to buy more vans and grow from there. People who want to contact him about the program — either with questions or a donation — can do so at sanfordjobexpress@gmail.com or (919) 478-8178.

In other news...

* The Better Business Bureau is now accepting applications for a scholarship for college-bound high school students, as well as college undergraduates, with a good record of leadership, service, integrity and academics. Scholarships of $2,000, $1,500, and $1,000 will be awarded. For details, visit www.bbbscholarship.org.

* The Chatham Community Business Showcase will be Oct. 29 at Pittsboro Ford, located at 1245 Thompson St. in Pittsboro. The event, which is free and open to everyone, will be from noon to 5:30 p.m. It will include booths from 50 local business, free massages and health screenings, door prizes and more. For more information, contact the Chatham County Chamber of Commerce at (919) 742-3333 or info@ccucc.net.

* After slowing down and even shrinking in the spring and early summer, growth in the nation's manufacturing industry has boomed recently, reaching its highest level of activity in more than two years. According to data released last week, the economy as a whole added about 180,000 jobs in September, and manufacturing in particular added the most jobs it has added in a single month since April 2011.

* Unlike manufacturing, one thing that is slowing down is drive-thru service. According to a recent study by fast food trade magazine QSR, the average wait time nationwide in the drive-thru line of seven benchmark chains — Burger King, Chick-fil-A, Krystal, McDonald's, Taco Bell, Taco John's and Wendy's — slowed from 172 seconds to 180 seconds. Oh, the horror. The study was published out of Chapel Hill where, ironically, drive-thrus are prohibited in the heart of town.

* Business fluctuations: In the early part of the week (your humble columnist will have been on vacation for a few days by the time you read this), two new corporations formed in Lee County — DBG Consulting and Oldham Investments — and one, the Montessori School of Sanford, was dissolved. The school closed its downtown location more than a year ago; another school has since opened on Commerce Drive off of Highway 87.

Have business news? Contact Will Doran at wdoran@sanfordherald.com or (919) 718-1217.