Group serving those with disabilities seeks dollars to expand

Webster Enterprises, a community rehabilitation program serving those with disabilities and disadvantages in Jackson, Macon and Swain counties, wants money from the three counties so the nonprofit can create additional jobs.

“I wouldn’t ask, if we didn’t really need it,” said the group’s executive director, Gene Robinson. “I wouldn’t have the nerve if I didn’t think it was an excellent investment.”

Robinson asked Jackson County commissioners this week for $20,000 to be given to Webster Enterprises during the next fiscal year, and for a low-interest loan of $50,000.

The group plans to ask both Macon and Swain counties for $20,000 each, too.

“We’re going to create jobs, a lot of jobs,” Robinson told Jackson County’s commissioners.

Webster Enterprises wants to provide training and support to more than 50 people with disabilities. Robinson said the workers would make disposable drape covers used by hospitals during surgeries.

“Do you have immediate contracts with hospitals, suppliers?” Commissioner Charles Elders asked.

Robinson said not exactly — Webster Enterprises sells to a third party buyer who packs a to-go kit, complete with the drape, goggles, sponges and more, to hospitals.

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