TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – The Texas Workforce Commission reports that 759,000 Texans were unemployed in August 2021. This statistic continues to rise in East Texas, but more employers are still struggling to hire.
Workforce Solutions East Texas regional manager at Tyler’s location, Steven Lynch, says there is currently a drastic increase in job postings. Lynch says more and more new employers are looking to fill positions, and there are plenty of good paying jobs out there right now, with benefits.
Unfortunately, some people do not return to work and blame child care expenses as the cause.
Director of Child Care Services Rhonda McGrath Says Workforce Solutions has the solution by offering child care services to those seeking employment under a subsidized child care program to help low-wage workers.
The initial job search program grants eligible individuals 90 days of child care while they seek employment. McGrath says if they find a job during that time, they can apply to receive 12 full months of child care, including the first three months.
Applicants must submit documents to ensure they meet the requirements of the at risk / low income program.
A new service industry stimulus program helps even more by targeting those working in the arts, entertainment and recreation, foodservice and retail industries. If applicants meet the criteria, they can obtain care for up to one year.
McGrath says if a person is employed in one of these specific industries and is able to provide proof of citizenship for children in need of care and is certified to work 25 to 50 hours per week, then they should be eligible for services. .
McGrath says, “All they have to do is get a few documents, hand them over, and we are able to expedite the care of these children. “
She says last year they saw the highest number of registrations ever, with more than 4,000 children in the program. With these new initiatives, they hope to help over 2,000 more children while mom and dad get back to work.
The program is paid for with federal COVID-19 relief dollars.
There is also the at risk / low income program. It allows working parents to earn up to $ 6,049 per month while still being eligible for services. Over 200 east Texas daycares participate.
Workforce Solutions East Texas covers 14 counties in East Texas.
These are the counties of Anderson, Camp, Cherokee, Gregg, Henderson, Marion, Panola, Rains, Rusk, Smith, Upshur, Van Zandt and Wood. However, if a potential client lives in Jacksonville but works in Nacogdoches, they can contract with a daycare center to care for their children.
For more information, individuals can call 1-800-676-8283 or go online at childcare.easttexasworkforce.org.
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