The Full Employment Council has a program to help businesses and help young people gain work experience. It’s called the Summer Job League, aimed at helping low-income people between the ages of 16 and 24.

The young people go through work-readiness training. Employers do not have to cover wages or workers compensation costs.

“We pay them (the workers) for six weeks,” said Deborah Nabors of the FEC in Independence.

“They get that experience. They can put it on their resume,” she said.

It runs May 16 to Oct. 31. Call the FEC office at 816-521-5700 or go to summerjobs.mo.gov.

 

Coming and going

An acquisition, a loss and a near miss:

Adams Dairy Bank has sunk its roots even more deeply into Blue Springs. The bank on Tuesday said it has purchased the small shopping center on Coronado Drive where it’s located. The bank says it chose that spot strategically when it located there in 2008, and it rightly says its move contrasts with other banks that continue to cut their physical locations. It says it plans to reconfigure the drive-thru at its bank, which is just west of Adams Dairy Road.

The clearance signs are up at Hancock Fabrics at 3507 S. Noland Road in Independence. The company is going out of business, and the Noland Road store will close sometime in June.

The company, based Baldwyn, Mass., had more than 250 stores in 27 states, including two in the metro area. It filed for bankruptcy protection in February in hopes of reorganizing and planned to close 70 stores – not including Independence or Overland Park – and try to survive. But that plan didn’t work, and now the company is closing everything.

Bob Evans Farms is closing more than two dozen restaurants nationwide, including those in Lee’s Summit and Belton. The company still has a restaurant in Blue Springs. Most of those being closed are owned by the company and were closed over the weekend. Another half dozen, owned by franchisees, will close during the current fiscal year. The company says performance at the closed sites “was not meeting expectations.”

 

Harry’s home

What does the Truman legacy mean to the area’s economy? It would be hard to track down every last dime, but the National Park Service has tried to peg a figure to its share of the Truman story.

The federal agency says visitors to the Harry S. Truman National Historic Site spent $1.88 million locally in 2015, creating a $2.78 million economic impact and about 32 jobs.

The biggest draw at the historic site, by far, is the Truman Home on Delaware Street in Independence, along with the Noland Home across the street and the Park Service visitors center on the Square, but it also includes the Truman Farm Home in Grandview.

The biggest share of visitor spending was for lodging (31.1 percent), followed by food (20.2 percent), gas (11.8 percent), and souvenirs and whatnot (10.2 percent).

The Truman site drew 32,825 visitors in fiscal 2015, the government says, putting it over 2 million since the Truman Home was opened to the public in 1984. The Park Service, which is celebrating its centennial, says every $1 of your tax money spent for its facilities generates $10 to local economies.

 

Housing starts

Construction of single-family homes in the metro area is off to a strong start for 2016, though Eastern Jackson County is not keeping pace. The Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City says permits are up 34 percent in the first quarter of 2016 in the eight counties it tracks.

The group highlights five subdivisions, none in Eastern Jackson County, that are having significant activity: Terrybrook Farms in Johnson County, the Villas of Stonebridge in Wyandotte County, and Kemp Estates, the Highlands of Northview and Rock Creek, all in Clay County.

Eastern Jackson County has generally had strong growth in recent years, and in 2015 Grain Valley, Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit all were in the metro’s top 10. But it’s been slower start to the new year – off 2.2 percent so far in 2016. Grain Valley is up (24 permits issued so far this year, compared with 10 last year), Blue Springs is about the same (45 compared with 44), and Independence (10, down from 19) and Lee’s Summit (58, down from 88) are lagging. Lee’s Summit, Olathe, Overland Park, and Kansas City, Mo., consistently have been the top four for years, but Lee’s Summit is No. 6 for 2016.

Housing has been on the upswing. Across the metro area, 4,700 permits were issued in 2015, easily the most since 2007. Starts bottomed out in 2009 and have been gaining year by year since. The number of apartments and duplexes also has taken a bigger share of the market.

Jeff Fox is The Examiner’s business reporter and editor. Reach him at 816-350-6313 or jeff.fox@examiner.net. He’s on Twitter @FoxEJC.