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As Texas booms, local governments — especially in small towns — struggle to find workers

A cascade of issues including inflation and growing distrust in government aren’t helping local governments hire for critical positions in public safety and utilities.

Public works Director, Thomas Bailey, arrives at City of Zavalla’s Water Well #2 in Zavalla, Texas on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023.

Contract Public Works Worker, Earl Norrod, (Left) speaks with Public works Director, Thomas Bailey, (Right) in Zavalla, Texas on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023.
Water pipes inside of Water Well #2 in Zavalla, Texas on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023.

“No one wants to work for a sinking ship”

Public works Director, Thomas Bailey, explains how the water system functions during incidents like the water boil notice in Zavalla, Texas on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023.
Mayor Carlos Guzman speaks about his role as mayor during the water boil notice in Zavalla, Texas on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023.

“They can’t raise their wages”

City of Zavalla Water Well #1 in Zavalla, Texas on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023.

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