New Program Helps to Hire Unemployed Workers in West Texas

by Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

There's some good news on the economic front.

For the first time since September, the national unemployment rate has fallen below the double digit mark.

But how are things shaping up here in the Permian Basin?

There is a new program focused on creating more jobs in West Texas.

"You know better than I do, people are better off working," Willie Taylor with the Workforce Solutions of the Permian Basin, said.

That's the goal of "Texas Back to Work."

Under the program, the state provides employers with a subsidized wage reimbursement, if they hire new employees.

"We give them $2,000 in increments if they hire someone and take them off unemployment benefits and put them back to work," Taylor said.

Employers are limited to 5 people they can hire.

"That means you get 10,000 dollars of funding by putting 5 individuals back to work," Taylor said.

The 15 million dollar program is tax free and officials hope it will stimulate the job market here in the Permian Basin.

"Over the last several months, companies are posting more jobs with us. It's great when we start seeing job creation. We are seeing unemployment rates go down each month," Taylor said.

During this economic downturn, West Texas has done a little better than other areas of the country.

"Our unemployment is a little lower than the national average because our oil and gas industry out here in our area," Taylor said.

The "Texas Back To Work" program officially started this week.

If you have any questions about the program, you can contact Workforce Solutions at 432-687-3003.