Help Wanted: Workforce shortage in Wichita Falls

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Wichita Falls is facing an employment problem because there are not enough workers.

Despite the unemployment rate being less than half of the national average, there are still jobs that need to be filled.

"On any given day, there are more than 700 job openings in the city from entry level to skilled labor positions," said Sherryl Roberts North Texas Workforce Solutions business services consultant.

There are two industries where employers are struggling to find skilled workers.

Roberts said employers are always looking for more certified nursing assistants, registered nurses and commercially licensed drivers.

New data gathered by the organization shows the number of overall jobs available will continue to grow by 11 percent in the next 10 years.

Roberts said when there are more job opportunities available, it shows businesses are growing and investing in the area. When those positions are filled, the employees have money to spend on restaurants, entertainment, and clothing leading to more money in the city's economy.

More customer service jobs become available as those businesses open in areas with a thriving economy.

Henry Florsheim, president and CEO of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce, said improving the quality of life in the city is one of the solutions to growing the workforce.

"That's why things like downtown, housing options, recreation, healthcare and schools are so much more important than they used to be, that's why we're heavily involved in those things," Florsheim said.

Another solution the Chamber of Commerce is looking at is the new Wichita Falls ISD Career Education Center.

"You've got people that work in those industries helping to design the curriculum which means when students get out of there, they're going to be much more ready for that career," Florsheim said.

North Texas Workforce Solutions held two job fairs last week trying to fill skilled labor positions and job openings for expanding businesses.

If you want to find out more what the organization offers and when their next job fair is, you can find their website here.