New Employment Campaign in Odessa

By Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

Like many employers in the Permian Basin, the City of Odessa is having a hard time finding workers, but city leaders are hoping a new campaign will change all that. They're using bumper stickers, pamphlets, billboards, and even tv ads.

"We are getting a lot of notice from this campaign," Don Byrne with Odessa Human Resources, said. "We're very encouraged."

Of the 900 possible jobs, there are over 100 city employees needed.

"It is very frustrating because we want the businesses to come in, we want the other companies to do well, but you know, unemployment rate is just above 3 percent right now and it's the second lowest in the State after Midland, so we're both hurting for employees," Byrne said.

The police department has suffered the most, they're currently in need of 26 officers.

"We were going through a real crunch and losing people to the oil field," Byrne said.

But the oil boom isn't the only factor to blame.

"We're getting to the point where the baby boomers are beginning to retire and so retirement is going to impact us," Byrne said.

The city council has alotted $50,000 for this campaign utilizing local papers, tv stations, the City website, and other materials.

"Our applicant pool is, again, way down," Byrne said. "We're working real hard to get to the people that are out there to show them that we are an employer of choice and we are a good place to work."

City leaders say the campaign has been successful. When it first began a month ago, they needed 118 employees, and now, 9 of those positions have been filled. Officials say the campaign will continue to run through September 9.