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Regional growth, plant expansions bring growing pains to the Crossroads

By ALLISON MILES
Sept. 28, 2013 at 4:28 a.m.
Updated Sept. 29, 2013 at 4:29 a.m.


Did you know?

Workforce Solutions of the Golden Crescent is currently looking for employers to take part in a Nov. 14 job fair. For more information or to reserve booth space, contact the workforce center at 361-578-0341.

For a more in-depth look at the regional workforce and hiring issues, read the story on Page A1.

Ongoing expansions have Victoria in the grips of growing pains, one workforce specialist said.

The petrochemical and health industries have long held their places within the Crossroads, but they aren't the only ones holding their ground and experiencing growth, said Henry Guajardo, Workforce Solutions of the Golden Crescent's executive director.

Both the construction and oil and gas industries have also found themselves on the upswing, which has led to trouble when it comes to finding workers.

"We're being pulled in a number of different directions - oil and gas, petrochemical, construction and the health industry," he said. "All of those are foreseeing expansions."

Guajardo said there have been discussions about reaching outside not only the Crossroads but also the Lone Star State itself to fill those spots.

Still, in the grand scheme of things, it's a good problem to have. After all, he said, it points to progress.

"These are just growing pains for Victoria," Guajardo explained. "And if we're going to continue to see growth in the area, we're going to have to address those future labor issues."

Here is a closer look at the industries and workforce throughout the Golden Crescent Workforce Development Area, which includes Victoria, Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson and Lavaca counties.

Unemployment rates

Golden Crescent WDA:

August 2013: 5.1%

July 2013: 5.5%

August 2012: 5.3%

Texas:

August 2013: 6.3%

July 2013: 6.7%

August 2012: 6.9%

Industry breakdown for 2012's fourth quarter

Trade, transportation and utilities

Employment: 14,998

Year-over-year change: +772

Local

(Refers to local government - school districts, hospital districts, municipal and county governments, etc.)

Employment: 12,578

Year-over-year change: -104

Manufacturing

Employment: 10,845

Year-over-year change: +328

Education and health services

Employment: 9,121

Year-over-year change: +155

Natural resources and mining

(Refers to agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, as well as mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction.)

Employment: 6,276

Year-over-year change: +864

Leisure and hospitality

Employment: 6,205

Year-over-year change: +406

Construction

Employment: 5,940

Year-over-year change: -172

Professional and business services

Employment: 4,039

Year-over-year change: +390

Financial activities

Employment: 3,416

Year-over-year change: +267

Other services

(Refers to equipment and machinery repairing, grant making, dry-cleaning and laundry services, pet care services and other places providing services not specifically classified elsewhere.)

Employment: 1,939

Year-over-year change: +5

State

Employment: 889

Year-over-year change: -19

Information

Employment: 666

Year-over-year change: -6

Federal

Employment: 442

Year-over-year change: -15

Nonclassified

(Refers to jobs that have been reported but not yet classified.)

Employment: 14

Year-over-year change: -14

Unemployment insurance claims

Continued claims for the week of Aug. 12

Golden Crescent WDA:

August 2013: 694

July 2013: 803

August 2012: 616

Year-over-year change: +78

Texas:

August 2013: 131,232

July 2013: 140,477

August 2012: 135,191

Year-over-year change: -3,959

Average weekly wages

Golden Crescent WDA:

Fourth quarter 2012: $860.23

Third quarter 2012: $773.49

Fourth quarter 2011: $800.03

Year-over-year change: +$60.20

Texas:

Fourth quarter 2012: $1,026.84

Third quarter 2012: $929.04

Fourth quarter 2011: $972.66

Year-over-year change: +$54.18

Source: Mark Lavergne, spokesman with the Texas Workforce Commission; Texas Workforce Commission news release

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