The East Texas Workforce Center held its first major job expo Wednesday, after Goodyear announced it would close the Tyler plant. The workforce center says it will have several job expos to help the nearly 1,100 Goodyear workers without a job.
It was a packed house at the Tyler Rose Garden Wednesday morning. More than 500 people eager to find work came to the job expo, many of them Goodyear workers.
"We are fighting the depression that comes along here at the holidays, no income, but this expo is very positive feedback for us and we appreciate it," said Peggy Taylor, 12 year Goodyear employee. More than 65 employers from all over the country came to the job expo today. The workforce center says several of them came specifically to hire Goodyear workers.
"They basically contacted us and said we wanted to be apart of the expo and they are interested in helping Goodyear workers," said Stephen Lynch, Site Manager for East Texas Workforce Center. "In fact Tom Mullins from the Economic Development Council called us and said there were employers calling the chamber." The Midland Chamber of Commerce traveled 400 miles Wednesday hoping it could help.
"We currently have the lowest unemployment rate in the state of Texas, and we have had the lowest for about 15 months, so we are desperate for employees," said Tracy Dau, Workforce Development Coordinator for Midland Chamber of Commerce. Today's expo included jobs from the city of Tyler, Tyler Fire Department, Department of Public Safety and seven manufacturing companies. Paul Cawthon, a 16 year Goodyear worker, says he found some potential jobs today.
"The salary I realize is not going to be the same we had," said Paul Cawthon, Goodyear employee. "Anything will help. We just need some closure on what they are going to do with the plant, so we can get on with our lives." Something the workforce center says it will help the Goodyear workers do.
The workforce center says it plans on having another job expo in the next few weeks. An exact date has not been set at this time. A reminder, we've set up the 7 On Your side Goodyear Job Link" on our web site. It's for Goodyear employees seeking work, and for prospective employers seeking help. Just go to our homepage and look for the 7 On Your Side Goodyear Job Link icon.