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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

Amid COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 481K jobs available across Texas, Gov. Abbott says

Gov. Greg Abbott said jobseekers and employers can connect to local workforce solution services at no cost.

AUSTIN, Texas — At a press conference on Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott said nearly 481,000 job openings are available across Texas amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the start of the outbreak and closure of non-essential businesses, more than 1.5 million Texans have filed for unemployment. Texas Workforce Commission has paid more than $1.4 billion to unemployed Texans, Abbott said, around 80% of claims.

Those looking for work, as well as employers, can find job openings on the Work in Texas website, which can be searched by city or ZIP code.

Jobseekers can connect with a local workforce board to find a job, and local workforce solutions are available to employers of all sizes, the governor said. These services are available to employers and job seekers at no cost.

While the governor has issued three executive orders aimed at a gradual reopening of Texas businesses, protesters on Saturday rallied at the Capitol, demanding an end to stay-at-home orders.

Currently, only businesses and activities deemed essential can operate, but Abbott’s executive order will allow certain reopenings in the coming days, with Texas stores able to operate “retail-to-go” beginning April 24.

After oil prices plummeted on Monday, Abbott said the state has been working with the White House to address the challenges of a volatile market with a flood of supply and a dry-up of demand. He said Texas and the federal government are looking at solutions such as a compromise between Saudi Arabia and Russia, as well as looking at strategic reserves as a purchasing entity.

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Industries such as technology and health care are hiring in Central Texas, including at Amazon corporate, Ascension Seton and Baylor Scott & White. Statewide, H-E-B and Randalls are also hiring, the governor said.

A KVUE search found job openings for mostly entry-level positions or those with one or two years of experience, as well as free training and childcare assistance.

RELATED: Need a job? These Austin-area stores, other businesses are hiring right now

Central Texas workforce boards include:

As part of Abbott’s economic order, more Texas openings will be announced in May, once it is determined that testing capabilities can detect and contain outbreaks of the coronavirus.

Businesses have been working with the state government to suggest strategies to reopen while reducing the risk of spread of coronavirus, according to the governor.

As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 205,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Texas, with 19,945 positive cases. There have been 1,491 hospitalizations from the virus in Texas and 511 deaths in the state.

The governor said the rate of positive results has remained at or below 10% of total tests and there have been at least 6,486 recoveries from COVID-19.

As of Tuesday, there are more than 21,000 hospital beds available for COVID-19 patients across the state, including 2,377 ICU beds and 8,300 ventilators available.

Around 4.8 million masks, 453,000 face shields, 2 million gloves and 16,000 gowns have been distributed in Texas.

The National Guard is assisting with the testing process in the state, providing 1,200 personnel in 25 teams across Texas to conduct 3,500 tests per day, over and above other testing sites.

Abbott also said any health care workers interested in volunteering to help treat COVID-19 patients can visit the Texas Disaster Volunteer Registry at Texas.gov.

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