Texas Jobs, Housing, and Resources: Seniors 55+ and Veterans
The Road of Life and Work Is Longer in the 21st Century
A Second or Retirement Career
An acquaintance of mine worked for 25+ years in another profession after earning a degree in engineering. When his company ceased business, he was immediately hired by an aerospace company in a well-paying job as a design engineer in a large company at the age of 55. He went to Texas, where many such jobs are open and increasing in numbers.
I worked with all demographics of workers seeking employment for over 10 years under federal and state funding programs, with over a 90% job placement rate every year, including seniors and veterans.
Those experiences provided me with useful facts to help job seekers in the future, especially since they led to top numbers of long-term employed people in my state.
I saw thousands of adults and youth receive training and gain long-term jobs every year, and this included senior citizens aged 55+, veterans, displaced homemakers, laid-off workers, and other special groups.
This work and ongoing follow-up with public and private contacts have provided an opportunity to gather resources for senior citizens and other special groups of unemployed people.
Living Longer, Working Longer: Texas Makes It Easier
Due to living longer in the 21st century, many retired individuals need to return to work and maintain a good job for several years rather than leaving the workplace. Texas is a good place to look for work.
Our Aging Population Needs More Work
During recessions and job shrinkage, hiring older people becomes more of an issue than it is in prosperous times. Globally, seniors are living longer and often need to work more years than in the past.
One of the fast-growing segments among the homeless in America is seniors ages 55 and over. These individuals may have lost a job through downsizing or layoff and were unable to find replacement employment. Some have lost their homes to high medical bills, and others are Baby Boomers (including veterans) who are struggling with substance abuse.
Senior citizens are not the only sector of the American population that can use some help in finding jobs. County workforce offices in the last few decades have provided targeted programs for seniors, displaced homemakers, veterans of all ages, Welfare2Work clients, noncustodial parents, displaced workers, ex-felons, and others. We have solutions for all demographics, and they apply well to seniors and veterans.
The Best Texas Cities for Finding Work
A number of communities are a good choice for relocation in order to work. Top cities for finding good work at a living wage at any age in Texas are:
- El Paso
- San Antonio
- Fort Worth
Wimberley is a resort town that is also a good bet. Jobs available here consistently include contractors, freelancers, and gigs for the self-employed in a number of industries.
Houston Is the Best for Seniors
The most promising cities for senior citizens to find and maintain independent types of employment have been named by several economic publications, including Zen99. Overall, Houston creates more jobs for seniors and all other age groups than does any other city in the state.
Spotlight on Wimberley
Wimberley, in central Texas in the Hill Country, is a resort town that grew up around a local trading post started in 1848 before the American Civil War and about the time of the Irish, Welsh and Scottish Potato Famines in the UK.
Today, the resort town is a good place for senior people to retire and start a new career in the Tourism and Hospitality Industries. However, the median age is only about 43, so this is not a town of "old people."
The Blanco River runs through town, many shops and interesting places along its banks. In recent years, flooding has affected the town, but tourism has grown. Jacob's Well and the famous site of billboard fame, Blue Hole, are located nearby. At the nearby state park, visitors can borrow fishing tackle (no fishing license required in the park) and take a canoe trip. Visitors enjoy catching bass, sunfish, trout, and channel catfish. The sunfish is most abundant.
During First Quarter 2016, over 15,000 job openings could be found near Wimberley; and this number rose to over 30,000 during First Quarter 2017 and over 50,000 in First Quarter 2019.
Work in Wimberley
Increasing jobs in this area of the state includes over 6,000 positions for managers, over 6,000 nursing jobs. and 1,000 or more openings for truck drivers. Sales at all levels require thousands more workers, especially since this is a resort area.
Several acquaintances have moved her and some have secured part-time or full-time work in the shops and cafes in the tourist attractions, while others have started home based businesses making items for sale in the shops. See popular places in Wimberly on the map below.
Bonsai and other Asian plants.
Senior Trends in America
- In 2011 - 2016, Seniors in their 60s traveled to North Dakota to work in the Williston Basin and Bakken Oil Fields. Some of he many jobs available there are physically taxing, but some are less so and more suitable to Seniors.
- At the end of 2014, Texas seniors ages 55 through 64 years old made up approximately 9.7% of the state population. Individuals ages 65 - 74, many of whom may be working, comprise another 5+% of the population, which was over 25 million people total. From 2014, onward, the percentage of senior citizens ages 55 - 74 continued to increase. Jobs for older workers are important and Texas recognizes this.
- American Senior Citizens Still Owe $36 Billion In Student Loans - 2015:
Americans 60 years and older are still paying off $36 billion in student debt. That's according to research from Federal Bank of New York.
- Retirement of 34 - 40% of RNs from 2015 - 2020 increases the need for nurses.As the US population ages, so do the professionals in Healthcare Services. A large number of nurses are retiring before 2020, leaving shortages in RN/LPN staff and professors to train new nurses.
Employment Resources for Seniors, Veterans, Women, and More
I worked under the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), followed by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). These legislated programs sequentially provided the funding needed for States and Counties to provide Employment and Training (E & T) to youth, adults and senior citizens in a number of subcategories. veterans, ex-offenders, and displaced homemakers were some of the groups that benefited greatly from these programs.
The WIA is the current legislation under which these funds are allocated and through which additional Stimulus Funding was provided under the Obama Administration.
Texas maintains a large E & T program and a wide network of services for all job seekers. In addition, faith-based agencies joined the initiative to help our increasing numbers of Seniors, US Veterans, and single parents find and maintain employment. This work even includes independent contracting and freelancing.
When in doubt about whom to call for employment or other help anywhere in the State of Texas for help, dial 211.
Texas Workforce Offices Offer Senior/Veterans Services
Across the State of Texas, county agencies set up the WIA are available to help Seniors and others with job search, education and training, support series, and other aspects of employment.
Similar to job seeking, accessing and using services with the WIA agencies takes consistent ongoing followup and communications with staff assigned to you. The divisions and services one can expect from senior services offered at WIA agencies include those below:
- The Texas Workforce Commission administers the state’s part of this seniors' program totally through the Experience Works organization in 88 counties.
- Senior Community Service Employment Program.
- In the remaining Texas counties, these national organizations offer Employment and Training to older job seekers:
- AARP Foundation: This site helps seniors find actual training and job placement services, but also offers useful resources and articles.
- Austin Senior Community Service Employment Program and TWC
- Dallas Senior Source
- Experience Works, Texas Branch (Toll free call: 855-307-1171): In the 2010s after the Great Recession, more seniors than ever are leaving retirement to work in order to survive. State funding allows this agency to place seniors in jobs with non-profit organizations, like the American Red Cross. The $130,000,000 provided by the federal government was stimulus funding that helped this organization and others maintain their services to the present time. This organization remained successful!
- National Asian Pacific Center on Aging
- SER (Service, Employment and Redevelopment) - Jobs for Progress National, Inc.
- Senior Service America, Inc.
Special priority attention is provided to seniors in these programs who are: disabled, have limited English, have low reading/writing/math skills, have a rural residence, are veterans, have low employment prospects, or are homeless or at risk of same.
WIA Employment and Training Services
- Orientation to Texas Workforce Services (what is offered and what to expect).
- Job Counseling, possible work related assessments that might include interests and skills
- Employment Referrals: Referrals to specific companies and for specific jobs.
- Training Referrals to educational or vocational training and other services. Funding may be available for Education and Training classes.
- Labor Market Information: Known as LMI, this feature informs clients of current employment trends and high demand jobs in the near future.
- Resume and Employment Interviewing Classes: Seniors can refresh their resume, prepare their very first resume if they have never used one, and practice mock interviewing for practice.
- Computer Classes: Basic computer literacy is mandatory in most occupations today.
- Resource Rooms: Computers, printers, FAX machine, telephone, and copy machines. Most of these items are free to use.
- Assessment, with the preparation of a specifically prescribed IEP = Individual Employment Plan. These are very important and must be individually tailored. For example, there is no need for remedial math classes if you are a CPA.
- Supportive Services to overcome barriers to employment - This might include help with transportation or some other type of help. One might receive a gasoline allowance, taxicab vouchers, bus tickets, or help with setting up bus service for the physically challenged.
- Health Screening
- Basic Skills Training, if needed. This includes ESOL - English as a Second Language, reading/writing, maths, and instruction for any needed equivalent high school diploma: the General Educational Development (GED) Certificate.
- Occupational Skills Training: PC keyboarding, email, simple data entry, Internet search, telephone business etiquette, home health aide skills, other.
- Training specifically for looking for work and maintaining a job.
- Job Search assistance
Veteran- and Senior-Friendly Companies
Job search engines currently maintain sublistings of jobs from employers that are particularly friendly and accommodating to special categories like Recent Graduates, LGBT, Single Parents, and others. In Texas, job seekers can search for work that Seniors and Veterans can fill with bosses that will love to have them on board.
During the second half of 2015, about 35,000 jobs across Texas listings fit the category that includes Seniors. The friendly employers are on the list below:
- JC Penney - Salespeople, Salon Staff, Supervisors
- Texas Instruments - IT and Communications, Engineers and Technicians
- Texas Health Resources
- Lockheed Martin - An exciting part of the NASA Commercial Crew
- Hewlitt Packard
- Community Health Systems
- Citi - Banking and Financial Services and Products
- Kforce Inc. - Temporary and Temp-to-Hire work
- Humana - Healthcare and Insurances
Job Services for Veterans
- Job training priorities for Vets: especially in Advanced Engineering, IT field, Petrochemical careers
- College credits for military service
- College and job placement
- Online credentials through education: US Army and US Navy
- Support services
Veterans' Support Services
TeXVet.com offers Veterans Services across the state, especially in cities where the largest numbers of jobs are listed. Find services here:
- AGE of Central Texas - Helping Central Texans with the challenges of aging with expert solutions.
- Central Texas Veteran Services Coalition (CTVSC): Call 512-341-4961. Website: www.texvet.org/ctvsc
- Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation - www.tsahc.org
Affordable and Comfortable Housing
Everyone needs a place to live and if you are moving to Texas as a senior citizen, then these resources may be useful to you.
The following list includes independent living for active seniors in their own dedicated communities.
In Houston, where most jobs are located, you may like to live at:
- Atria Westchase: 11424 Richmond Avenue, Houston TX 77082
- The Hampton at Post Oak: 2929 Post Oak Boulevard, Houston TX 77056, The Hampton includes several location around the city, with different services.
- Paradise Springs: 5600 Cypresswood Drive, Spring TX 77379
- The Terrace at Memorial City: 11900 Barryknoll Lane, Houston TX 77024
- The Terrace at West University: 5151 Buffalo Speedway, Houston TX 77005
- The Bentley: 3362 Forest Lane, Dallas TX 75234
- The El Dorado: 714 W. Arapaho Road, Richardson TX 75080
- Treemont: 5550 Harvest Hill Road, Dallas TX 75230
- Englewood Estates: 2603 Jones Road, Austin TX 78745
- Highland Estates: 1500 N. Lakeline Drive, Cedar Park TX 78613
Single and Homeless Seniors
One of the fast growing segments of the homeless population in America includes senior citizens ages 55 and over. Many have no living families. It is important that they can access gainful employment, safe living arrangement, and adequate health care.
This is especially true in light of the fact that they may live for additional decades. The largest metro areas in Texas have abundant help available.
Golden Girls Home Sharing
Services for Homeless Seniors
Access Senior Housing Options for the following:
- Assisted Living for Seniors
- Subsidized and Affordable Housing Assistance for Seniors
- Seniors' Home Modification, Home Repair Assistance, Ramps, Design for Aging in Place
- Senior Friendly Communities
- Senior Moving Services and Relocation
- Gay LGBT Senior Housing & Assisted Living
- Senior Home Sharing and Senior CoHousing
- Temporary or Senior Shelter Housing
Job leader Houston and other cities in Texas offer discounted transportation rates to senior citizens and veterans to public transport, which helps these individuals maintain a ride to and from work. They can relieve the stress of driving and dealing with automobile traffic.
Some outstanding good times can be had by seniors at specialty tours that include:
- Texas Fiesta in San Antonio, Dallas, & Austin - This 12-day tour is sponsored by seniortours.com.
- Diamond Tours sponsors escorted tours for seniors to many sites in Texas. These include a San Antonio specialty tour to see everything from the Alamo to the LBJ ranch. The tours are fun, well-led and some say they are more enjoyable than those offered by AAA.
- Harris County provides transportation to seniors for day trips to 50+ individuals in Precinct 4 in the Senior Adult Program. HQ is located at 1731 Hugh Road; Houston TX 77067. Phone (281) 893-3726. Nearly 100 places of interest comprise a list of places for seniors to go if they live in Precinct 4 of Houston. Check your own county for its Senior Adult Program.
Additional Services by County
- Counties Served: Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Travis, Williamson
55 IH 35 North - Suite 200
Austin, TX 78702
- Dallas County
6310 LBJ Freeway - Suite 115
Dallas, TX 75240
- Harris County
7015 Gulf Freeway - Suite 140
Houston, TX 77087
SER Jobs for Progress National
- Tarrant County
SER SCSEP of Tarrant County
1100 Circle Drive - Suite 100
Fort Worth, TX 76119
- Harris County
Houston, TX 77012
(713) 773-6000 ext. 118
- Galveston County
Houston, TX 77012
(713) 773-6000 ext. 108
National Asian Pacific Center on Aging
- Harris County
NAPCA/Houston - Chinese Community Center
9800 Town Park Drive
Houston, TX 77036
(713) 271-6100 ext. 107
Texas Department on Aging and Disability Services
- Greater Austin Area:
Dept. on Aging & Disability
- Hays County · 512-908-9435
- Travis County · 512-908-9435
- Williamson County · 512-908-9435
Agency on Aging
- Capital Area Agency on Aging· 888-622-9111 or 512-916-6062
- Greater Houston Area:
Dept. on Aging & Disability
- Harris County · 713-692-1635
- Care Connection, the Gulf Coast Aging and Disability Resource Center
Agency on Aging
- Harris County Area Agency on Aging: 1-877-393-1090; 800-213-8471 or 832-393-4301
- Dallas - Fort Worth Metro Area:
Dept. on Aging & Disability
- Collin, Dallas, and Tarrant Counties · 1-888-337-6377
- Connect to Care Metrocare Services; Phone: 1-888-743-1202 (Dallas County); or http://www.connecttocaredallas.org/
- Tarrant County Aging and Disability Resource Center: 1-888-730-2372
Agency on Aging
- Dallas County Area Agency on Aging· 800-548-1873 or 214-871-5065
- North Central Texas Area Agency on Aging (Collin County)· 800-272-3921
- Tarrant County Area Agency on Aging· 877-886-4833 or 817-258-8081
Churches, Jewish Temples, and Muslim Houses of Worship have offered job search services for their congregations and/or community members in addition to those provided by the state and county. Further, non-profit agencies administering funds for job search and maintenance have sometimes co-located at some of these places in the field in order to help those without ready transportation.
One example of faith-based employment related help is within the LDS (Mormon) church. Volunteer Employment Specialists are often assigned within congregations to help LDS members of all ages that are seeking employment. This might be a good option for LDS members. However, many other faith-based options exist as well --
The Launch Pad Job Club is a great non-profit group that holds gigantic weekly meetings for all job seekers, often renting church buildings. This group activity would tend to lend valuable camaraderie and emotional support as well as job search services. Not affiliated with any church, Launch Pad rents space to be near the community of need. One Texas area job club welcomes 100-200 people or more weekly to benefit from relevant speakers. There are also 'Clublets' - breakout groups in particular career fields. Click on the link below to find a Launch Pad meeting in your area.
Other houses of worship in general often offer employment related assistance in their own neighborhoods. Check your local directory for faith-based organizations that may offer services to Senior Citizens. Some of them maintain groups that help with household choirs and repairs as well as job search, yard cleanup, meals and other needs.
Senior Recreation and Fun
Senior and some veteran discounts are provided by a number of venues in Texas beginning for those ages 55 and older. One place is a Seniors-only vacation spot at VRBO in Arroyo City on the Gulf Coast of Texas, right in the middle of a wildlife refuge with good fishing all summer and autumn.
VRBO offers modular housing style cabins with just three steps up to a one-floor plan vacation dwelling on a property that is clean and easy to get around. RV parking is available and a washer and dryer can be found in each unit, which also has a BBQ grill and proximity to the Gulf of Mexico.
The boat dock and boat lifts are free to guests. Cable TV is also waiting if you tire of outdoor activities. The kitchen is fully stocked with everything except food and the rates are less expensive than hotels. Most guests rate this place 5 stars out of 5.
- In Texas, call (956) 748-2590
- In Ohio, you can also call (419) 340-2390. The owners Jim &Barb may be there, although they live at the Texas site.
Texas RV Parks you might enjoy:
- Jamaica Beach RV Park - Galveston TX. PH 409 - 632-0200
- Mobile Village RV Park - Arkansas Pass TX. PH 361-758-8367
- Piney Ridge RV 55+ Community - Tyler TX, east of the Mall off Highway 69. PH 903-594-8484
- Take It Easy RV - Near the VA Hospital. 703 Junction Highway, Kerrville TX. PH 1-800-828-6984
- Will Rogers Memorial RV Park - Fort Worth TX. PH (817) 392-7469
Map of Gulf Coast Senior RV Parks
Seniors Have Lots to See and Do in TexasClick thumbnail to view full-size
- Indeed.com job listings for Texas during January - March in 2016, 2017, and 2019.
- Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives - Home
- Texas Ranked Number 1 for Growth Prospects. GoBigTexas; 2018.
- Urban Institute: Income Support and Social Services for Low-Income People in Texas
- Veteran Resources. GoBigTexas; 2014 - 2018.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2012 Patty Inglish MS