As Texas booms, local governments — especially in small towns — struggle to find workers
Earl Norrod thought he was finished working when he retired from the city of Lufkin water department 10 years ago.
But amid a nationwide labor shortage — and a particular dearth of qualified government workers in small towns — the 76-year-old has been in and out of employment.
Since 2018, Norrod has been tapped three times to help the nearby small town of Zavalla with its water system. The working-class community of fewer than 700 people struggles with aging water infrastructure and lacks the budget and skilled workforce to fix...