BROWNSVILLE, Texas — A high demand of workers at the Port of Brownsville. According to a recent workforce summit, approximately 9,000 jobs or more are expected in the Brownsville area. Pat Hobbs with Workforce Solutions Cameron said this about the current and upcoming employment landscape in the region.
“I would say it’s a high demand. We’re hurting for a skilled trades workforce.”
The port is projecting growth and is now in the process of looking for workers to fill new jobs. Most positions said have an emphasis in skilled labor and come as a result of upcoming projects such as ship building. A major dredging project and if approved, the arrival of the LNG facilities.
“We’re in the planning stages now. Working with the colleges in the area to build training programs to satisfy their workforce needs.” Says Hobbs.
Recently the U.S. Navy announced that Brownsville is currently considered to be an option for dismantling a historic carrier. Hobbs says most of the upcoming employment activity is at the port.
One of the largest prospective sites for employment is the Rio Grande LNG project. With plans to begin construction as early as 2020.
Matt Schatzman, NextDecade LLC, “When this project starts construction, we’ll have created 6,000 direct jobs during construction. After we’re finished nearly 5,000 permanent jobs, a majority which is of which are in Cameron County. I think people that know that are very supportive of the project.
Right now, a regional effort by trade schools, universities, and local institutions looking to create future workers, to avoid a shortage of workers in the upcoming years.
Hobbs adds, “We can’t let that happen. We need to work now to build the LNG, and shipbuilding demand and everything.”
Hobbs believes the reasons industries consider the Rio Grande Valley include: the Port of Brownsville, an overall young population and the proximity to the country’s largest trading partners.