There's good news for our local economy - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

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There's good news for our local economy

Here in East Texas, there may be some good news on the economic front, especially for those training, looking, or already working in the healthcare industry. KLTV 7's Layron Livingston found out today that East Texas may be the place to be while the nation resuscitates from its financial health problems.


Inside this hospital room, the patients may be fake, but this class of TJC student nurses is getting some very real hands-on experience for their future.

"I had looked at it for a long time before I got a job at Goodyear, because I was laid off at Tyler Pipe for the same reason, jobs going overseas," said Mary Lenderman.

Mary says she worked as an EMT before, and nursing was just a good fit. She and her peers love the idea of helping people, but that's not all.

"With the population growing, and baby boomers and everything, for one, you don't have to worry about job security," said Shanikwa Johnson.

"We're one of the strongest medical centers, certainly in Texas, and maybe one of the strongest in the Southwest," said Tom Mullins of the Tyler Economic Council.

And growing.

Tom Mullins with the Tyler Economic Development Council says a diverse business sector - healthcare, oil and gas and manufacturing - support much needed jobs.

"We have a lot of ways of bringing new wealth into our economy right now which helps us survive the national crisis that other parts of the country are dealing with,"

President and CEO of ETMC Health Systems Elmer Ellis says the business of healthcare isn't without its problems.

"As the population loses jobs and they lose their insurance coverage, that makes it difficult for healthcare providers in the area," said Ellis.

He says balancing that vulnerability and necessity has become a primary concern.

"Regardless of economic conditions, there is a continued need for healthcare, so those are factors that have made us build this business," said Elmer Ellis.

Even now, ETMC Tyler is in the beginning stages of a more than $20 million expansion.

The goal is to serve larger populations and occupations. Representatives with the hospital say nearly nearly a hundred more jobs will be needed once the project is done. It's great news for a nurse in training.

"Education is endless with this field. You can go on and on and on," said Emily Parker.

"Nursing is going to keep going and I want to be a part of it," said Elias Cajero.

The Tyler Economic Development Council says nearly 20,000 jobs may be connected to the healthcare industry in Tyler alone.

We want to know if you have made any changes in the way you handle your finances because of this credit freeze. We have also set up an e-mail address where you can tell us about the changes you are having to make. You can send those e-mails to moneycrunch@kltv.com.

Layron Livingston, reporting. llivingston@kltv.com

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