Loss of Pecos Employer Will Affect Already High Unemployment Rate

by Anayeli Ruiz 
NewsWest 9

PECOS - The loss of one of Pecos' largest employers will be felt across Reeves County. The area already had the highest unemployment rate in the Permian Basin before TransPecos Foods announced they were shutting down.

Newswest9 sat down with the town's mayor to talk about what this means for the city's future and what they are trying to do to keep those workers in town.

"They've been struggling over there a little bit as far as their job market trying to get folks into the jobs. They've kind of just been a little bit slow," said Willie Taylor with the Texas Workforce Solutions.

Even before Trans Pecos Foods let go of nearly 100 employees Pecos was already struggling with their job market for many years. According to the Texas Workforce of the Permian Basin Reeves County has had the highest unemployment rate in the Basin.

"They had unemployment figures of 9.5. This is one of the highest counties in the 17 counties," said Taylor.

And now with the extra 100 unemployed workers this will increase their unemployment rate. That's why the Texas Workforce Solutions is trying to do everything they can to find these people a new job.

"We are here to work with them to make sure we get them in to jobs because that is our main priority. That's our fist choice people wanna go to work and take care of their families. We wanna make sure of that not going on unemployment benefits we wanna see people working in the community," said Taylor.

The main concern is to keep these employees locally so that people don't have to leave their homes.

"We want to retain everyone that we possibly can. The unemployment rate has been high was starting to go down because of the extra opportunities in the area. But certainly this is going to make that percentage rise again. Hopefully the employees will be able to find employment here very quickly," said Vennetta Seals, the Mayor of Pecos.

Trans Pecos Foods would contribute $2 million a year in salaries and everyone around town hopes that this loss of workers doesn't hurt the local economy.

"Hopefully not very much and not very long. Letting these employees know that their are opportunities at many of the businesses right now," said Seals.

Newswest9 tried talking to the Economic Development of Pecos, but they never returned our calls. Workforce Solutions has already started taking calls of employers wanting to hire new workers.