Lufkin stores gear up for seasonal employees

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - As the holiday season nears, many employers are seeing a surge of applicants who are willing to work long seasonal hours for work experience.

"Their looking for part-time [work], right around Christmas time. Around this season is when the retail stores are kind of busy. A lot of people are coming in for part-time work,"said Anglia Criswell, the Site Manager for WorkForce Solutions Deep East Texas.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the retail trade is expected to hire 36,000 new jobs during the holiday season and many businesses like Brookshire Brothers Grocery in Lufkin are planning on hiring recent college graduates and students who are fast and friendly.

"Well, so far we have hired three checkers and two sackers and I have quite a few who are coming back from college," said Jerome Lair, the Store Director for the Brookshire Brothers Chestnutt Street location. "They're with me year-round through college so we reserve their jobs. We're looking foward to them coming back."

Lair says he likes to keep an eye on seasonal workers because he thinks many are good candidates for full-time positions.

"If they do real good and they want to stay here--we try to keep them," Lair said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas has an unemployment rate of 6.8 percent and for some job seekers like Sue Romero, who recently moved to Lufkin from California, using companies like WorkForce Solutions to find seasonal work can help open doors.

"I'm really encouraged because I'm thinking I could go for that; that sounds like something I could do," Romero said.

Even with a tough economy, Lair encourages job seekers to use seasonal jobs to their advantage.

"I know the job market is tough," Lair said. "But, they need to keep coming back."

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