Texas boom towns need workers


Natural gas exploration in south Texas is being compared to the oil boom of 100 years ago, and we're not talking about the potential, the jobs are needed right now. In fact, 2,000 jobs open up on Wednesday. That job fair is happening in Robstown, Texas, not far from Corpus Christi.

Things are tough for people looking for work, just ask Melvin Larry.

"Here there ain't nothing," he said. "I have been looking for a job about seven months and going everywhere."

That seven month drought could come to an end, thanks to natural gas exploration in South Texas.

Rick Slemaker, publisher of Energy Magazine, said, "It's like another Spindle Top, like another boom, that's what's happening."

Slemaker is not talking about potential. He says there is a need for workers right now in South Texas as the natural gas and oil industry digs in and ramps up hydraulic fracking. On Wednesday, the South Texas area hosts another job fair, this time in Robstown where 2,000 jobs need to be filled.

"The nice thing about fracking is that they have to go and do it over and over again, so they are longer term jobs," Slemaker explained.

Bobby Wells just got his commercial drivers license after taking courses at Houston Community College and is already in demand in South Texas. If he heads to the Eagle Ford gas and oil fields his job search could end before it begins.

Wells said, "I want to go where they are saying welcome!"

While it takes time to get a CDL, the Robstown job fair openings reach beyond the obvious need for experience in the oil and gas industry. Slemaker says as production increases, all sorts of workers will be required.

"You have got housing, hotels, food service, people who take care of these guys, infrastructure, they have to build roads in and out, all that kind of thing," Slemaker explained.

The jobs we're talking about include truck drivers, construction workers, administration and sales jobs. One expert told us the average income in South Texas is about $25,000 a year, but for those working the Eagle Ford Shale Formation, it can be double that figure or more.

Learn more about the job fair, and search current job listings for Eagle Ford Shale.

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