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Comptroller visits west campus, speaks about economy

Tyler Junior College students and even Texans shouldn’t worry about the state of the economy, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said during a recent visit to TJC.

During a press conference on Jan. 22 at TJC’s West Campus, Combs discussed how the economy is expected to affect the Lone Star State. She estimated the number of jobs that could be lost statewide would reach 110,000. But she also said that last year Texas brought in 20,000 jobs, which accounts for 71 percent job growth in Texas, and said that the Texas economy should weather the storm.

She also discussed the need for an educated work force and the role of the community college, adding that the price for getting an education should be within reach.

“The colleges need to fill those seats in order to pay for their own expenses, so if the price of attending school is too high, then those seats will be empty,” Combs said.

Throughout the press conference, Combs held firm to her belief that Texas is one of the strongest states economically and that the recent decline is having less of an effect on Texas than it is on states such as New York and California, which are both moving toward bankruptcy.

Still, many Texans remain concerned about the security of their jobs and are thinking of going back to school or retraining.

“If you have a job and are trying to build on a college education, then keep your job and try taking night classes,” Combs suggested.

Statistics show that an increase in trained and certified workers could increase the Texas employment rate and help the state’s balance sheet.

“As the nation’s current leader in job creation, Texas cannot afford to fall behind,” Combs wrote in the Texas Works book for 2008, which lists many findings for the future of the work force.

If Texas can continue to turn out an educated work force and decrease dropouts, then Combs believes that the Texas economy should hold through the current crisis.

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