Area economic developers and workforce experts said former staff from Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center should have no difficulty in finding new jobs in the current market.


The hospital announced on Monday that about 30 positions at the hospital had been terminated due to production concerns and staffing levels.


Despite the loss of jobs, and the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, representatives for Workforce Solutions Texoma said there are still plenty of jobs available in the market.


“We have 800 job openings in our system right now for Texoma, and they are all over the place. They are from retail and grocery stores and essential types of businesses to manufacturing and drivers and delivery services.”


With regard to the hospital positions, Bates said that some positions and skill sets are nuanced and specific to health care. However, in many cases they are not separated enough that it wouldn’t make them candidates for jobs elsewhere.


“If it is something that is specific to health care, it might not be as interchangeable, but if it is someone who is doing scheduling, someone who is doing paperwork of some type ... then there are some opportunities out there,” Bates said.


Meanwhile the region still maintains a need for health care services.


“At one point TMC was asking for some very specific nursing certifications and they were even offering some bonuses,” Bates said.


Kent Sharp, president of the Sherman Economic Development Corp. said that SEDCO isn’t focused as heavily in the health care sector as it is in other industries, but noted that it makes up a large part of the local economy.


“We are acutely aware of health care because it is such a huge sector in the economy,” he said. “I know the demand just in Grayson County ... it doesn’t seem like they could ever get enough employees.”


Sharp agreed with Bates that many positions would have little trouble finding positions elsewhere.


“It (health care) is probably the strongest sector of the entire world economy right now,” he said.


Under normal situations, it would be the specialists, including medical professionals, who would have the most difficulty transitioning to new fields. However, with the demand for skilled medical, they should have no issues, he said.


Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at mhutchins@heralddemocrat.com.