LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A statewide overhaul of Texas state schools could spell good news for East Texas. The changes are welcomed news for the state school and for local economic development leaders.
The Lufkin State School is making some changes that could generate jobs and improve the quality of services for their residents. The changes come on the heels of last year's federal review of the Lufkin facility and twelve other state schools, amid allegations of resident abuse and neglect.
One of the more visible changes for the Lufkin State School is it's name change. It's now called the Lufkin State Supported Living Center. As of right now, there are 163 additional jobs available.
Stephanie Yarbrogh cares for Sybil, who speaks through a communication device made especially for her. "Will you please fix my hair?" asked Sybil.
"It takes a caring heart, patience and the willingness to help them and care for others," said Yarbrogh.
Yarbrogh has been working at the Lufkin State Supported Living Center for 16 years. She got her foot in the door as an entry level position, but has steadily climbed the ladder.
"Once you start, there's no holding back," said Yarbrogh.
Out of the 163 jobs available, 60 are entry level, direct care positions.
"I think it's going to enable us to provide better services which is what we're all about and provide an opportunity for the community to seek new employment opportunities," said Lynn Hopper, director of Community Relations.
The facility is one of the top local employers, making these job openings crucial.
"This increases the care for them, it's bringing more medical professionals and more staff members to work with them and their families, so from a community base," said Jim Wehmeier, City of Lufkin Economical Development Director. "I think it's huge."
As Yarbrogh styles Sybil's hair to perfection, she said she wouldn't trade this job for the world.
"When they accomplish that goal, it is so nice," said Yarbrogh. "They smile and they laugh, so it's a nice place to work."
A place of work that Yarbrogh said is rewarding. "I have a lot. I think just being there and the caring that I have, the passion," she said. "I have the heart."
She said if you have the compassion to care, there just might be a job for you at the Lufkin State Supported Living Center.