Names Odessa Number #1 Place to Find a Job

by Diane Tuazon

NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Even with the recent downturn in the economy, and rising unemployment; Odessa is still recognized for its job availability.

"Odessa has has a 5% job growth which is way above the largest, we've had a good year in 2008," Rick Skillern with the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, said. ranked Odessa as the Nation's best small city for jobs in 2008, and for the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, that's no surprise.

"All of Texas is business friendly. 70% of new jobs came out of this state, now think about that. We're just a business friendly state," Skillern said.

Skillern says it's not just the oil and energy industry with the best jobs, but the medical field as well, and one local clinic is meeting that demand.

"At the moment, we are just about fully staffed," Michael Austin with the Viola Coleman Clinic, said.

The Viola Coleman Clinic is currently staffed with 86 new employees.

"Of course in the medical industry, we're always looking for staff," Austin said.

For Michael Austin having Odessa ranked as number one for jobs says a lot.

"The oil industry here kind of tanked. They laid a bunch of people off and Midland/Odessa still came out as number 1, so that tells you just how bad it is everywhere else," Austin said.

For Odessa to be ranked number one for jobs could mean an increase in population.

"It's great advertisement. The unemployment is rising in the rest of the country, so you attract good people to Odessa," Skillern said.