LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Marissa Williams has a 1-year-old, a 2-month old and no job.
"I have bills," Williams said. "I have two girls. I'm by myself. My rent is $550. Help me somebody."
With no car, the single mom said she's been walking to the WorkForce Solutions Center in Lufkin to look for a job as often as she can.
She was let go from Pilgrim's Pride back in August while she was pregnant with her second child.
"I couldn't pay my bills because I lost my job, then no one would hire me because I was too far pregnant," explained Williams.
Many East Texans have filed into the center, starting the new year on the job hunt.
Employment experts say jobs are out there and seekers just need to stay prepared.
"There's a big variety of jobs, the industries that are growing especially as Texas and this area have to do with natural resource extraction," WorkForce Solutions Planning and Operations Director Marilyn Hartsook said.
Health care, sales, installation, maintenance and repair, production, business and financial operations occupations, architecture and engineering, computer and mathematical, and building and grounds cleaning are all on the list of local occupations in demand this year.
We're told employers are looking for people with basic skills, such as a good work ethic.
Also placement specialists say the more specific your vocational training, the better off you may be. College graduates with general degrees have a harder time finding work.
"We'd love to be able to find everybody that comes in a job because that's what they need to help support their families and themselves," Hartsook said.
With the unemployment rate still more than eight percent locally, job experts say they still have hope for a better year, something Williams will cling to.
"My girls motivate me, they do," Williams said. "I don't want them to see me all down all the time 'cause it's not good, but I got to keep going on, eventually I'll make it."