LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – An unstable economy and statewide school district budget cuts forced Lufkin Independent School District to eliminate several staff positions, but things are improving and now they hope to restore some of those jobs.
"Last year this time, you know, everybody was extremely uncertain," said Joe Deason, recruiter, LISD. "This year, we're going to be able to add a little of those, a few of those positions back."
Deason says a more stable economy is allowing LISD to restore 35 positions.
The Lufkin school district is not the only one helping to lower the unemployment rates. According to a recent report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment numbers across the state are improving.
"The most recent Angelina County rate of unemployment was 7.1 percent. And, that's an improvement. You know, we've been staying mostly in the 8 percent range," said Charlene Meadows, executive director, Workforce Solutions.
Lufkin Industries employs more than 1,800 people in Lufkin. According to Brian Gifford, Human Resources VP, they have already brought in dozens of new hires this year. "So far, the first quarter, we've added 100 hourly employees to the workforce. And, we have open requisitions now for another 145," said Gifford.
Recruiters say in addition to a shining resume, many employers are also looking for bilingual employees. Gifford says adaptability is important in an evolving society. "Today, it's very, very important in the emerging environment. As our customer base changes, then so do too the needs of the organization."
Local employers say they hope to continue hiring as the economic conditions improve.
LISD is holding a job fair Thursday from 5:30 pm to 7 pm in the high school cafeteria. Lufkin Industries is also accepting applications for the 145 jobs they now have open.