LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Whitney Grunder - email
LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Dennis Moffett is an iron worker, used to traveling, going from job to job.
"I stayed on the road," he said. "I didn't get a chance to come home because I was working and all of a sudden it stopped. Don't nobody call for jobs no more."
Now, eight months without work, Moffett finds himself at the Workforce Solutions Center, desperate to find a way to put six years of experience to use.
"I have over $7,000 worth of tools that I use for my profession that I can't use right now and I don't want to put them in the pawn shop to pay my bills," he said.
Last Tuesday, Moffett received his last unemployment check.
"It's already gone," he said.
With more bills to pay, Moffett could qualify for an additional in January.
"I want to get a job and not have to go through this," he said.
The Texas Workforce Committee estimates that by Dec. 4, 85,000 Texans will lose their benefits due to the cutoff of federal and state extended unemployment benefits."
It's a tough reality. Hundreds are looking for the same jobs.
"They come in from all over," Moffett said. "There's people giving up their unemployment in other states to come where the jobs are."
Each week, more than a thousand people pass through Anglia Crisswll's office at Workforce Solutions.
"We try to encourage them that unemployment does not last forever," she said.
Moffett is starting to realize he might have to settle for a job other than his trade.
"I'll flip a burger," he said. "I'll fry some chicken. I mean I'm not going to make it my career but I've got to eat."