There are a lot of job opportunities in East Texas, but many of them are not being filled. Career counselors at Workforce Solutions in Lufkin said the problem is not the quality of jobs available, it's the lack of employee prospects.
Jon Bunn, Workforce Solutions business development manager, said, "These are very high-paying jobs, we just need to get the people that have those skills to come and register in our system, even if they currently have a job."
Many native East Texans believe the job market is unimpressive, but out-of-towners like Darren Wise believe the locals are offered better opportunities. Wise has two masters degrees in social work from well-known California universities, but he is still out of a job.
Wise said, "There is some industry here, but the thing is that you have to be tied into the community or you have to have family members here, because people are really conscious about making sure that they know a little bit about you before you get employed."
East Texans from 12 different counties count on Workforce Solutions to help them find professional, challenging jobs they can be proud of. But many of them are wondering if those jobs even exist here.
"We have over 300 job postings that employers have put in our system, Work in Texas," said Bunn. "They range from a retail position all the way up to a pharmacist who makes $100,000 a year."