ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC )- With the new year, you might be looking for a new job or career field, but it can be difficult to find a job that works with unique lifestyles and pays a living wage. Workforce solutions of West Central Texas says the unemployment rate in West Central Texas is 3.5%, but in Abilene, specifically, that number is 3.2%. While both percentages are lower than the state average of 3.7%, there are still a little more than 4,000 people unemployed in the area.

Bill Dean, Director of Business Services, shared that there are currently 2,600 job posts in at least 300 occupations. If you haven’t accepted a job offer because of childcare concerns, Workforce Solutions said it has reduced childcare services.

“There is some qualifications and application process, and scholarship process to do that, but if you’re having childcare concerns, again, visiting our workforce center and visiting with our career specialist is the first place I would start,” advised Dean.

Jeff Goza, Assistant Director of Administration, told KTAB/KRBC he’s been working at the Abilene State Supported Living Center (AbSSLC) for 32 years, and refers to his workplace as family. Now that the height of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us, the center said it is building back its workforce. AbSSLC is currently looking to fill 400 open positions in a variety of fields.

Goza listed, “Nursing, maintenance, food service, housekeeping, recreation, working for our vocational programs, our activity centers.”

Knowing how difficult it can be to find a job when needing childcare, Goza shared that AbSSLC is open to hiring people with any availability.

“We [have] got all sorts of different shifts that people want to work,” Goza encouraged. “It is sometimes hard, if you [have] got little ones, to work a shift. We have a lot of 8-5 type positions and housekeeping. We can kind of make your own shift. We [have] done that for some folks who couldn’t work a shift we had, but were able to work different hours.”

Dean said Workforce Solutions can help you find a job that meets your needs and skillset.