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What's In Abilene, West Texas?

Updated on July 16, 2015
Historic Cypress Street District in Downtown Abilene
Historic Cypress Street District in Downtown Abilene | Source

The Abilene Paradox

Abilene lends its name to a paradox called the Abilene Paradox. It is the notion of individuals in a group wanting to not "rock the boat." The people avoid controversy, dissension, and conflict by failing to voice their opinions.

The phrase Abilene Paradox was coined in 1974 by author Jerry B. Harvey, who also called it the management by agreement. I would call it tacit agreement - agreeing by not disagreeing, or management by fearing to disagree.

I think that Abilene, Texas is not known for its experience of this type of failure to communicate among its businesses and community organizations, but the city was chosen as a destination in an anecdote about a family whose members each wanted to stay home, but felt that the others wished visit the place.They were all miserable in the end, because of heat and dust.

When it comes to business and employment, the people of Abilene seem forthright and it is a good place to live. Their educational system is one of the best in the United States and likely encourages the expression of differing opinions.

Abilene, a Far Suburb of Dallas-Fort Worth

A markerAbeline, Texas -
Abilene, TX, USA
get directions

Best Educational System

The Abilene, Texas school system is ranked as Number One Best Public School Education System in the State of Texas and in the Top 20 Best in the USA.

Not only that, but many of the local colleges and universities have been names Best Colleges to Work For in the US. Education K-12 and postsecondary education is a major thrust in Abilene and accounts for much of the new job creation locally, even before Stimulus Package of the Obama Administration was released into the US States.

Increases In Jobs Are Shown By Upward Curve


Companies With the Most Employees

  1. Dyess Air Force Base (See section further below)
  2. Hendrick Health System
  3. Abilene Local Schools
  4. Abilene State Supported Living Center
  5. City of Abilene - Government
  6. Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  7. Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas - Insurance Claims
  8. Abilene Christian University
  9. Abilene Regional Medical Center
  10. Teleperformance USA

Selected Employment Sites

The following offices are listed according to distance for the center of the city, outward.

  • Workforce Center-West Central,; 400 Oak St (325) 795-4200
  • Kelly Services, Inc.,; 4400 Buffalo Gap Rd #3700 (325) 695-4110
  • About Staffing Ltd,; 3385 N 3rd St #1 (325) 670-0095
  • Benefit Staffing Inc.,; 4400 Buffalo Gap Rd (325) 695-5822
  • Express Employment Professionals; 2 Village Dr #103 (325) 437-1048

Express Employment Professionals is a well known temp-to-perm employment office in many locations around the US. In my area, they provided substantial employment at a good rate of pay, including two a full-time positions after I graduated from college.

Top Job Listings - Health & Medicine

  1. General Practice Dentists
  2. Registered Nurses (RNs) - Listed in projected growth jobs through 2016.
  3. Travel Nurses
  4. Physicians
  5. Physician and Nurse Specialists
  6. Pharmacists
  7. Occupational Therapists - High demand since March 2009.
  8. Physical Therapists
  9. Family Nurse Practitioners
  10. Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs)- One of the projected fastest growing occupations through 2016.

Most of the many highest demand job listings found across the Internet for Abilene via 1) job search engines, 2) individual employers' HR web pages, and 3) employment recuiters or head hunters are all involved in the Healthcare Industry.

Medical colleges and health centers are expanding in Abilene, as described further below.

Additional High Demand Jobs

  • IT Engineers
  • Managers and Assistant Managers
  • Auto Technicians
  • TRUCKING - Owner Operators
  • Grocery related jobs
  • Medical Assistants
  • Casual Dining staff

Projected Quickly Increasing Jobs, by Percent

These additional job titles are expanding at a rate faster than other jobs in the region:

  1. Medical Assistants (MAs)
  2. Home Health Aides (HHAs)
  3. Child Care Workers
  4. Mainstream Middle School Teachers, except for vocational (Voc-Ed)
  5. Correctional Officers and Jailers
  6. Clergypersons
  7. Receptionists and Information Clerks
  8. Accountants and Auditors
  9. Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and other attendants and support positions
  10. Auto Service Technicians and Auto Mechanics  

Job Trends Projected to 2016

The largest numbers of jobs in West Central Texas through 2016 appear in the following cartegories:

  1. Farmers and Ranchers - Agriculture and livestock
  2. Cashiers
  3. Retail Salespersons
  4. Farmworkers and Related Laborers - Agricultural food and animal crops, plant nurseries, greenhouses, tree farms.
  5. Waitstaff - Casual to full service.
  6. Registered Nurses(RNs) - Includes Travelers
  7. Personal and Home Care Aides
  8. Combined Food Prep/Service
  9. Customer Service Reps
  10. Mainstream Elementary School Teachers

Job Trends vs. Actual Listings

The official Federal and Texas State projected employment trends to 2016 span a full decade and no single year of projections within its period may fully match actual job listings at any specific time or date during those 10 years.

Throughout the decade, the projected jobs with highest growth rates and most openings are believed to manifest as such by the end of the 10-year period in 2016. However, looking at high demand job listings, the projected health and medical jobs increased early on, as they have overall in Texas as a state.

New Federal projections are extracted from trending data and published every 2 years, say from 2008 - 2018, then 2010 - 2020, and so on. This provides a regular adjustment as trends change or are affected by such events as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Merging industries and career fields insert themselves into these projections as well as American technologies advance.

One of the provisions of the ARRA is the funding of additional healthcare services to help keep working individuals and families on the job.These jobs wer already increaing in Abilene and most of Texas, so the ARRA added even additional funds for such job creation.

We see that in actual job listings, most of the Top 10 Jobs in the Abilene Metro Area are healthcare jobs. These listings increased even during the recession of 2008 - 2010 and more so after ARRA stimulus funds were applied.

This incrrease is particularly true of Registered Nurses (RNs) and Doctors and will continue as a trend as medical centers and schools continue to expand in the Abilene area.

Postsecondary Education In Abilene

Jacob's Dream statue at Abilene Christian University
Jacob's Dream statue at Abilene Christian University | Source

Abilene Christian University's Tower of Light and Bible Building Atrium


Colleges in Abilene - Education, Expansion, and New Jobs

  • Abilene Christian University - This university offers an iSchool full of technology programs. Abilene Christian University was named one of the Best Colleges in the US to Work For by a survey published 7/6/09 by The Chronicle of Higher Education.
  • Abilene Regional Medical Center
  • Cisco Junior College
  • Hardin-Simmons University - One of the Top 10 Great Colleges to Work For in the US.
  • Hendrick Medical Center - School of Radiography -- This medical campus is undergoing a huge expansion through the 2010s that requires the addition of medical and healthcare personnel in many areas. A WebCam is set up on their website to illustrate the ongping progress of medicine at Hendrick.
  • McMurry University & Christian College - Students of McMurry University may enroll in courses at Abilene Christian University or Hardin-Simmons University at the same time. McMurry also offers classes for Dyess AFB. Aside ffrom pre-enginnering and pre-law, the school offers several courses and a Model UN program.
  • Texas State Technical College. West Texas
  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Abilene Campus

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A C-130 Hercules.C-130
A C-130 Hercules.
A C-130 Hercules.

Dyess Air Force Base

In Honor of the Dyess Name

MIlitary Command History in Abilene

Abilene is the site of Dyess Air Force Base and a USAF fleet of B-1 Bombers and C-130 transport planes in two squadrons.

The 7th Operations Group works with a third plane, flying and training pilots for the B-1B Lancer. Together, these units join service and support units to make a major contribution to the economy of the Greater Abilene Area.

In July 2009, a successful air base bus service began, indicating a new spurt in growing economic health. A numbr of healthcare related job openings exist on base, adding to the expansion of the Healthcare Industry locally.

Dyess Air Force Base was Abilene Army Airfield (1942-1948) and Abilene Air Force Base (1948 - 1956) After the USAF was formed during WWII. The base honors legendary Lt. Col. William E. Dyess, born in 1916 in Albany, Texas. Growing up, he was fascinated with the work of the Wright Brothers and Charles Lindbergh and pursued flight training when he was old enough at Randolph Field (the West Point of the Air) and Kelly Field in San Antonio.

As a Colonel, Dyess commanded in the Philippines during WWII on Bataan, but when his command ran out of equipment and supplies, he led a ground fight. Captured in 1942, he and his men made the 85-mile Bataan Death March on foot and he lived.

After one full year as a POW in three camps and a prison ship, Dyess escaped and learned guerrilla warfare from the Filipinos to become a one-man army feared by the Japanese opposition. Upon return stateside, he testified before Congress about POW tortures and began training to return to battle. However, he died in a training crash while preve nting the plane from harming comrades and residents of the area. Colonel Dyess reminds us of the service men and women in modern war zones and their sacrifices for their country and fellow citizens.

B-1B Lancer at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Western Ohio
B-1B Lancer at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Western Ohio


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      dohn121 - Thanks! Dyess is certainly a hero and so is your grandfather. Feel free to post a lnk to that tribute Hub in this comment thread.

      thor6 - The C-130 is a giant and very impressive. Thanks for sharing your related memories!

      Hi Sandy! - Thanks for visiting and commenting. Abilene seems to have a lot going for it.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Nice Hub.

    • thor6 profile image

      thor6 8 years ago from

      Another excellent hub, but what a site for sore eyes,i was in the R.A.F for 22 yrs and seeing that Hercules transport brought back memories. In 1976 we flew from England via Canada and the states to Belize and between America and the Bahamas we went through some of the worst weather the pilot had ever seen. Not very nice,i can tell you that. Take care and keep up the good work.


    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Wow. Jimmie Dyess was quite a hero. My grandfather too escaped a POW camp during WWII. I actually posted a Hub for him in his honor. Great informative HUB.