HOUSTON – A 38-year-old former NASA employee says he has been looking for a job since March of last year, when he was downsized at the agency.
“It came out of left field,” Derek Wootan said. “I thought I was in a position that my skills and expertise would work for me.”
So far, that has not been the case. The former hardware engineer and father of five sent more than 2,000 resumes as far away as Africa and as close to home as Babies “R” Us.
“It really starts to weigh down on you. You get depressed,” he said. “Depression is a real struggle.”
The family recently borrowed gas money to attend two funerals. They also cut out all but their most basic bills.
According to Texas Workforce Solutions, about 800,000 Texans are now looking for jobs. A quarter of them are in greater Houston.
Many from NASA find a resume that once meant stability is actually now a liability, as they are told they are “overqualified.”
“We are at the end of our rope,” Wootan said. This, as one of the toughest parts still lies ahead for him: the holidays.