El Paso experiencing a shortage of construction workers

News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso home builders are saying there is a demand for laborers, especially with the increasing growth of the city.

Local professionals, Mimbela Contractors said they need at least 50 more employees to keep up with the demand of infrastructure and homes in El Paso, but they say it isn’t easy finding the employees to fill those jobs.

“Before we used to get applications we used to get like 10 a day, and now we’re lucky if we get 10 a week,” John Mimbela said.

Meanwhile some workers are working extra hours to catch up on projects because of the shortage. Contractors say many workers end up leaving El Paso to find high paying jobs in other workforces such as the oil fields in Midland, Texas, however, some just aren’t looking for construction jobs.

“It seems like there’s not a lot of people interested in construction anymore, they’re all trying to do college courses, computers, so the interest has dropped but the demand has risen,” Mimbela said.

Mimbela said many might not realize the pay scale for construction ranges, giving people an opportunity to make a living.

“Here we don’t start anyone at minimum, here it’s $9 to $10 an hour if you don’t know anything, and $20 to 40 dollars with experience,” Mimbela said.

Herschel Springfield, the president of Winston Associates, a local home-building company, said the lack of laborers is causing projects to pile up.

“We have had to go to a few people and ask for extensions on their contracts now we’re just building in that time upfront and tell them it’s going to take a little longer,” Springfield said.

Projects in El Paso are being delayed several weeks due to the shortage of workers, which increases costs for both clients and companies according to contractors.

The construction worker shortage can also mean higher prices for El Pasoans looking to build new homes.

“When we have to pay more for subcontractors that cost gets added into the budget so that means higher price on the homes we’re building,” Springfield said.

Mimbela Contractors said it looks for employees by collaborating with the Workforce Solutions Borderplex, local companies and interviewing applicants who walk in to apply.

Springfield said they are trying to keep construction workers here in El Paso by increasing pay and establishing relationships with local companies to keep work available.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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