National Express Corporation recently donated a school bus to a South Carolina community center and lauded employees in both California and Texas for their efforts to clean up the environment in one instance and create a safer environment in another.
The school bus contractor bestowed the refurbished yellow bus to the Brookland Lakeview Empowerment Center in West Columbia, S.C., in partnership with an area church to help community members in need of health care, education and job assistance.
David A. Duke, CEO of NEC (pictured above with Rev. Charles Jackson and consultant Kevin Richardson), said the contribution reflects the company’s four core values — safety, people, customer and community.
“Our presence here is an expression of the values which guide how our company does business in South Carolina and across the nation,” Duke noted. “Whether it is the donation of a bus or whether it is through our providing donated or discounted transportation services, direct financial support or the extraordinary volunteer work of our many associates, National Express works every day to showcase our commitment to being a good corporate citizen and to respecting people in all we do.”
As part of the donation, Thomas Built Buses assisted with the refurbishing of the bus and Bridgestone Tires provided brand-new tires.
“Having gotten to know the company well over the past year, I can say that National Express Corporation’s values can be summarized as an uncompromising focus on safety and service and a passionate respect for people and communities,” said Rev. Charles Jackson of Brookland Baptist Church.
More than a year ago Duke and Jackson forged a friendship and found they shared a common goal — to serve diverse communities in a way that shows respect for and empowers people.
For the past three years Durham School Services, which is part of NEC, and Starbucks have brewed up a winning partnership in Santa Clara, Calif., to clean up the San Francisco Bay area. Local Starbucks employees organize community service projects and Durham provides free transportation for hundreds of volunteers to the cleanup sites.
NEC recognized the Santa Clara school-bus team for consistently giving back to their community by awarding them the Business Impact Award in the Community category.
Santa Clara General Manager Guy Shanks said he looks forward to continuing the partnership with Starbucks for years to come.
“Everyone who works this event comes away with a great feeling of satisfaction and a job well done. This year, we will increase our participation by helping with the cleanup in addition to shuttling volunteers,” he explained.
NEC also recognized part of its Texas team responsible for school busing service in the Burleson and Kennedale school districts, with the Driving Out Harm Team Award. Burleson General Manager Clint Muhlenberg said creating a safe, secure atmosphere for both their students and employees is a collective effort from the entire team — supervisors, drivers, maintenance technicians and office staff.
“We thoroughly check our buses before and after each run and go above and beyond state maintenance requirements. We also review routes and bus stops to ensure student safety,” he told the Burleson Star.
Muhlenberg has also been recognized individually with the Leader of the Year Award for improving customer service and engagement at the Burleson location.
Burleson drivers, along with Durham, launched a coordinated effort in 2013 to increase safety, reducing preventable accidents by 67 percent and injuries by 62 percent, according to Durham's records. They also reported that a ride-along program with police led to a drop in stop-arm violations.