Widespread road construction in El Paso and Texas has created a demand for certified construction workers.
You may remember President Barack Obama talking about "shovel-ready projects" that require trained workers. Now, some of the federal funding to support that goal is coming back to El Paso.
Offered by the University of Texas at Arlington, 30 people will be able to qualify for the two week program that will result in certifications in OSHA construction safety standards, flagger training, heavy equipment and construction techniques. The training is all hands on, worth about $10,000 per trainee.
"Right now, and I think you guys see across the city, that we have a very large boom of construction work," said Joseph Riccillo, El Paso director for Sundt Construction.
Sundt is the general contractor overseeing the GO-10 project adding lanes alongside I-10. Riccillo said that they and other contractors need more people to do this kind of work. Even then, the need and the skills learned as part of this program doesn't end with highway work.
"Once you acquire that training, then you can work regionally," Riccillo said. "You can go to another state. You can work in other places in Texas. Or you can switch. Something like the - you talk about the I-10 project, but having the work skill and knowledge of that, you can flip over into the building industry and do the civil on the building side on that as well."
There are a lot of other construction projects like major buildings and developments coming up for Sundt and other major players in town. The people in this program and those who can develop these skills will be in high demand.
When asked if Sundt will be interested in hiring the people that complete this job training program, Riccillo said "Oh, absolutely. And that's kind of why we're involved with it."
Time is running out to apply for the highway construction training program. To qualify, you must be over 18 years old, have a valid drivers license, be able to work in the United States and pass a drug test.
Those who qualify will interview to get into the program next week. The training will be held in El Paso.
To apply, you can contact UT Arlington at 866-906-9190, email email@example.com or visit uta.edu/ded and search TCCA.
You can also visit the Texas Construction Career Academy Facebook page, which contains information and documents for the application. Applications must be submitted by midday Wednesday.