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Deep East Texas Work Force Solutions Provide Resources For Jobseekers In Rural Counties

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JOB KIOSK POP-UPS: A day doesn’t go by without some news report on employment as businesses are hiring to replace those who’ve either retired or quit during the so-called “great resignation”. And for those looking for work there are ample opportunities if they know where to look and have those in-demand skills. But for employers and job-seekers alike in deep East Texas rural counties, there may be some challenges when it comes to employment. Work Force Solutions of Deep East Texas is an state and federally-funded organization that is working to meet those challenges, Mark Durand is the executive director.

“Our mission is to provide a quality workforce for the employers of deep east Texas, and we serve the 12 counties of deep east Texas which ranges from Angelina, Nacogdoches, Shelby County, San Augustine, Sabine, Jasper, Newton, Tyler, Pope, San Jacinto, and Trinity counties,” Durand explained.

Although there are six workforce centers in the larger populated towns in the deep East Texas area, jobseekers in the less-populated areas are faced with barriers to access to service ranging from a lack of transportation to childcare. Durand says the DET Work Force Solutions offer pop-up Work Force Centers throughout those counties.

“We have computer kiosks and we have them set up in certain locations such as non-profit organizations like as libraries, housing authorities, different ones that we’ve come up with partnerships and agreements,” Durand said. “So that those individuals in those counties can go in, get the same services that they would if they were traveling to one of our workforce centers.”

Job seekers can search for jobs at the Pop-Up kiosks and some even have Work Force Solutions staff on hand to assist with job search and can also explain some of the other services available for jobseekers.

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“Everything that we do is free, from posting the job to helping somebody finding a job, to all of our workshops, everything we do is free,” Durand said. “We are working on government funding to assist individuals in need.”

Durand says there are free workshops for job seekers to help with their job search as well as short-term training programs ranging from Commercial Driver Licensing, to heavy equipment operation, to longer-term training such as Associate or Bachelor Degrees for different in-demand skilled professions. To find out where the Pop-up Work Force Centers are located and to learn more about free workshops and job-training, childcare assistance and other services, the website is www.detwork.org

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.