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MARLIN

EVENING

SANDERSON FARMS

April 2015

Workforce Solutions

NEWSLETTER
The Drive To Do Better

Inside Perspective of Marlin LINK: Featuring Justine Evans and Kayla Lopez
or the average Marlin High School graduate, Nineteen-year-old Kayla Lopez is another
career options within a 10-mile radius are
Marlin High graduate who attends MCC. By
limited. And postsecondary education options 6:30 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday, Kayla
are even more limited within a 30-mile radius. starts her journey to school, and after a full
day of classes, returns home to
For the last eight
Marlin about 6:30 p.m. This 12years, the nearly 6,000
hour day would be much longer
residents of Marlin
if Kayla didnt have the option
have been able to
to ride a LINK bus to and from
expand their options
Waco, because shed likely be
for emloyment and
traveling on foot.
education by utilizing
public transportation,
Marlin LINK is one of Kaylas
namely Marlin LINK,
only options for getting to school.
a low-cost public
Shes studying Substance Abuse
transportation system Justine Evans poses in front of her bus to MCC. and Addictions, and hopes to
that runs multiple daily
eventually be a school counselor
routes between Marlin and Waco.
at her alma mater. MCC is the closest school
where Kayla can fulfill her requirements and
Justine Evans, a Marlin High School graduate,
its 33 miles away.
heard about LINK three years ago, and started
riding it to get to McLennan Community
This distance between Marlin and Waco
College, where shes pursuing a degree in Child creates a barrier for many Marlin residents
Development.
who are seeking higher education or more job
opportunities. Without the option of a public
Prior to riding Marlin LINK, Justine relied
transportation system like LINK, dozens of
Continued on pg. 2
on friends and family to drive her to MCC.
Nowadays, a $3 daily bus pass gets Justine
to and from class and gives her a sense of
independence.

Marlin residents would have no other choice but to discontinue their education or quit their jobs.
LINK has grown at a rate of 15-20 percent per year. In 2014, LINK provided nearly 40,000 passenger
trips to the Greater Waco Area, southeastern McLennan and Falls counties. Marlin LINK alone
provided more than 29,000 passenger trips in 2014. With numbers like this, theres no denying the
need for public transportation in the Heart of Texas, or the number of people who would be impacted
if the service were to end.

Unfortunately, the discontinuation of LINK services


Over the last eight years, weve shown
may be imminent. Workforce Solutions for the Heart of
how important this service is. Its going
Texas contract with Waco Transit is scheduled to end
to take a lot of partners to keep this
in December due to Congress eliminating its JARC, Job
service moving forward.
Access Reverse and Commute, grant that funds the LINK
John Hendrickson, GM for Waco Transit.
service. Since 2007, this grant has made it possible for
Workforce Solutions and its many partners to provide
affordable public transit services with LINK. LINK will
need a new source of funding to continue without this grant.
LINK has made it possible for a greater number of people to enter the workforce, transition to a
better job, or pursue skills training or a degree. The scheduled termination of these services will be
inconvenient, if not detrimental, for jobseekers, employees and students from surrounding counties
who will need to start exploring alternative methods of transportation.
Workforce Solutions currently has 18 partners for this project, including Falls Community Hospital,
Jimi Lynn State Farm Insurance and City of Marlin, but needs new funding to sustain all three LINK
services through December 2015. If this service is to continue, public and private partners will need to
see that access to jobs and school is a solution that benefits the region.

In 2014, Workforce Solutions and


Waco Transit launched the It
Might Surprise You campaign
for LINK. The campaign is meant
to encourage people to explore
their public transportation
options, as well as the many
benefits that come along with
utilizing public transit services.

LINK helps
to generate
more than $2.3
million in wage
earnings from
over 70 local
businesses.

IVE WORKED
AT SANDERSON
FARMS FOR THREE
YEARS NOW AND
I WOULDNT BE
ABLE TO GET THERE
IF IT WASNT FOR
LINK AND PUBLIC
TRANSPORTATION.
Larry Moten, Sanderson Farms

LINK Employment Destinations:


Manufacturing

Health & Medical

AHP Diaper Plant


Allergan
Cargill Turkey Products
Caterpillar
Central TX Corrugated
General Dynamics
Mars Chocolate Factory
Merrick Engineering
Packaging Corporation of America (PCA)
Pilgrims Pride
Swann Productions
Sanderson Farms

Retail
Best Buy
CEFCO
Dollar General
Flying J
Good Will
Home Depot
Kohls
Michaels Store
Richland Mall
Salvation Army
Target
Tractor Supply
WalMart

Crestview Healthcare
Family Health Center
Greenview Manor
Hillcrest Medical Center
Jefferies Place Nursing Home
Lakeshore Village Health Center
Providence Health Center
Ridgecrest Retirement
Royal Manor Health
Scott & White Clinic
VA Hospital
Woodland Spring Nursing Center

Food Service

Burger King
Bushs Chicken
Chick Fil A
Churchs Chicken
Cotton Patch
El Conquistador
Fast Eddies
Freddys Custard
Golden Coral
H-E-B
IHOP
Long John Silvers
McDonalds
Red Lobster
Whataburger

Other

Ace Cash Express


American Insurance Life
Company
Challenge Academy
Connally High
Exxon
FEDEX Ground
General Dynamnics
Hilton Hotel
LANSHARX Gaming
Lorenzos Body Shop
Pure Avida Salon and Spa
Stripes
TXU

EXPANDING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

To Employment, Education and Financial Security through LINK

Marlin LINK
Year
2011
2012
2013
2014

Passenger Trips
16,642
19,865
24,884
29,094

Sanderson Farms LINK


Year
2011
2012
2013
2014

Passenger Trips
4,209
5,050
4,868
4,982

= over 90,000
Evening LINK
Year
2013
2014

Passenger Trips
3,262
4,580

= over 19,000

Did You Know?

LINK and Waco Transit have gone above and beyond


to make their service convenient for customers.
With this free GPS app, Ride Systems, riders can
keep track of their buses locations on their phones.
Visit us online: www.mylinktransit.com
The Heart of Texas Workforce Development Board, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer/program and
auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to include individuals with disabilities. TTY/TDD
via RELAY Texas service at 711 or (TDD) 1-800-735-2989 / 1-800-735-2988 (voice).