GALVESTON — Brandon Eubanks isn’t quite finished with his studies at ITT Technical Institute but knows if he wants to land a good-paying job when he graduates, it doesn’t hurt to get a foot in the workforce door.

That’s why the 25-year-old League City resident and his friend Steven Walsh, 26, of Webster were stopping by every booth at last week’s Oceans of Opportunity Job Fair. The two were looking for internships in the information technology fields.

They have at least 7,000 reasons to do so. That is how many new jobs in information technology were created in Texas in the past year, making it one of the fastest growing segments of the workforce.

So as the friends walked by the NASA-Johnson Space Center booth at the job fair in Galveston, they noticed a call for interns to work on the space program.

“We have a couple of professors who work for NASA who told us to try and get our foot in the door there and that this would be a good place to look for an internship,” Eubanks said. “Mainly (I’m here) looking to try and get a job to get IT experience.”

And it’s a good time to be looking for a new job.

The latest state employment figures show that more than 322,000 jobs were added in Texas in the past year.

Most came in the trade, transportation and utilities fields where 77,000 jobs were created between January 2013 and January 2014, according to figures from Texas Workforce Commission.

The oil and gas industry added another 15,800 jobs in the past year, according to January figures, the most recent numbers.

All those new jobs helped push the state’s unemployment figures to 5.7 percent, the lowest it has been since November 2008, according to the commission’s figures.

That bodes well for James Patterson of Texas Worksource, the state agency charged with connecting employers with potential employees. It also is why the Oceans of Opportunity job fair was bigger this year than in years past.

More than 100 employers signed up to participate and more than 500 job-seekers came out with résumés in hand at the Galveston Island Convention Center at The San Luis Resort.

“I wanted to make this more of a countywide thing, so I reached out to companies further north (including Houston),” Patterson said. “I am trying to make this more of a regional thing. We decided to make this bigger, to bring in different companies.”

The Oceans of Opportunity job fair was started soon after Hurricane Ike struck. Now that the economy has recovered and in many places is expanding, the job fair has changed focus.

“Really (the job market) is very good,” Patterson said. “It’s cooled a little bit compared to previous years, but we were on fire then. With all the building (within the regional petrochemical facilities), to be honest there is more of a skill gap than a shortage of jobs.”

That’s why the job fair teamed with the county’s two community colleges, Galveston College and College of the Mainland, Patterson said, to be able to better prepare the next group of workers.

“We have order writers for (Texas Worksource) who are putting the jobs out there, and they just can’t keep up,” he said. “A part of the problem is as these facilities and buildings go up, you need jobs that require certifications. So (workers) need to go to the community colleges to get that training.”

Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or tjaulds@galvnews.com.

(7) comments

Gary Miller

Texas adds jobs, New York kills jobs. Florida adds jobs, California kills jobs. North Dakota adds jobs, Chicago kills jobs.
Acording to last months Dept of Commerce (BLS- E 6) report Red States are adding jobs, Blue States are killing jobs.
Red states value working citizens, Blue states value welfare citizens.
All blue state big cities are dying from liberal rot. Shrinking working population and growing welfare population.
Workers leave as fast as taxes are increased.
Bankruptacy is when workers leave faster than taxes can be increased.
Chicago has proposed doubling property taxes to finance public employee pensions.

sverige1
Lars Faltskog

Are we dying yet from IHOG rot? [wink]

IHOG, read up on the many articles that say that the states with the highest abortion rates, highest pregnancy rates, lowest rated schools, and the ones who take more away from federal coffers are the "red" states.

Gary Miller

Sverige
The highest abortion rates are in Blue City innercity HUD slums.
I never thought high fertility rates were bad. Sounds healthy.
All of America's worst schools are in Blue City innercity HUD slums.
Big Cities run by Democrats in Red states have innercity HUD slums.
Houston is no exception. It's taxpaying population is shrinking and it's welfare population is growing.
The Houston Metro population is growing while the Houston proper population is shrinking. The suburbs are eating Houston. A business and job at a time.
Liberal rot is turning Houston into the place in Texas to be from.
Taking more from the Feds is justice. Red States contribute more and deserve more. Blue states contribute little and deserve nothing.

Carlos Ponce

sverige, when I did an an analysis of the the lowest rated schools I came up with school districts where voters voted for President BO in the last two Presidential election cycles. I know you don't like links but.....
http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/neighborhoods/school-district/ratings/worst100/
Some of these school districts are in red states but their voters voted Democratic.
Locally ask yourself which school districts are the lowest performing in Galveston County and then see who their voters voted for in the last 2 Presidential election cycles.
sverige, don't be sad, don't be blue, Barack Hussein's a Democrat too!

George Croix

Hopefully they'll be full employment jobs.
The Right side of the Congressional aisle in DC is introducing legislation to amend the ACA requirement that says 29.5 hours is a minimum work week, and thus incentivizes employers to cut workers' hours or face the ACA penalty(s), and change that back to the more traditional 40 hour workweek.
Predictably, it's expected to NOT be supported by the White House, and to sit idly by in Harry's Senate, as are the other proposals for making the ACA monstrosity a bit more tolerable and workable.
A person working to pay their own way in life benefits a lot more from a 40 hour workweek at a decent paying job than from government directed mandates and handouts.
You really do NOT get 'more bang for the buck' with an unemployment check...
Here's hoping for good luck for the job seekers.

Gary Miller

Gecroix

Hours worked and pay scale should be a contract between employer and worker.
If I want a 60 hour a week job that pays $16 and hour it should not be governmen's choice. If I don't want a 30 hour a week job paying $32 an hour it ain't governments business.
It's time for people to make their own decisions without government interference.

George Croix

JOBS is indeed a 4 letter word in the urban dictionary sense to an Administration who think that the best job for it's subjects is one that depends on government to hand over money.

Left unexplained is who's hands will be doing the handing over once all real workers have been taxed and hours cut back so much that all are equally poor.
That's because the power people will still have theirs, having exempted themselves from the harsh effects of redistribution.
It's good to be the king...

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