EL PASO, Texas - It's a good time to be in the construction business in El Paso. Business is booming and skilled construction workers are in high demand.
Allyn Echaniz is the vice president of Bomanite Artistic Concrete. The company has been in business since 1985.
Bomanite just finished a large pool project at Fort Bliss and hopes to be involved in the city's upcoming projects, such as the $180 million downtown arena and the new 22-story luxury high-rise condos in West El Paso being built by the Meyers Group.
"It's a great time to be in construction," Echaniz said.
The competition for skilled construction workers is ramping up as more projects come on line. El Paso ISD and Yseleta ISD have millions of dollars worth of projects in the works.
"It is hard. As you try and get more people, it is hard. They are pulled in different directions," Echaniz said.
The TxDot GO 10 construction project already in full swing has a price tag of more than $150 million. It's been a pain for drivers, but a boom for local construction workers.
Martin Bartlett is the spokesperson for the Street Car Project.
"One of the things that has really been incredibly important, we have heard (it) from a lot of people, is how much of this work is being done locally. And the street car project has about a dozen and half local contractors. About a quarter of the construction budget has stayed in the El Paso community," Bartlett said.
And now that we know the construction of the border wall could begin in El Paso, construction companies know their business outlook is more than good.
"It looks amazing, as El Paso is not only growing, but improving. You know, instead of just more people, there are more people, but we are doing more things to better the city," Echaniz said.
"We know we are at a unique juncture, really, in El Paso's history. We have this many influx of public investment and infrastructure. Both street car projects, major freeway projects we are seeing around town. We all kind of came to the game at the same time," Bartlett said.