Across the United States, Thompson Pipe Group employs roughly 1,500 workers, with several hundred in North Texas. Its Alvarado location is searching for more help.
Thompson Pipe Group was founded in California and now includes locations in Grand Prairie and Alvarado, according to the company’s director of marketing Jamie Brown. Its Alvarado location manufactures concrete products for the drainage and sanitary sewer market.
At the career fair in Alvarado next Saturday, Brown said the company is offering a $1,000 sign-on bonus for those who are hired.
“It’s really surprising because you would think of the current status we’re in with layoffs and all the things we’re hearing about, it’s difficult for the people to find employment or stayed employed,” she said. “The real fact of the matter is for us, it’s difficult for us to find essential workers in an infrastructure market. It’s extremely competitive right now. Texas is booming.”
A March survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas found Texas factory activity expanded at a markedly faster pace, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. One of the key metrics included the production index, which saw the highest reading in the survey’s 17-year history.
Juan Estrada, production manager with Thompson Pipe Group, said the Alvarado location was looking to hire about 40 people.
“We’re looking for general laborers, just production floor employees, forklift operators, even more skilled positions, quality control technicians and even maintenance,” Estrada said. “I think there is maybe a stigma that has developed over the years over what manufacturing looks like and what it actually is, and what type of culture we have.”
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The company is also willing to train people, Estrada said.
“We want these people to come in and feel like they’re welcomed, right? That’s why we’re saying everyone is welcome no matter what industry you’ve been in whether you’re coming from the restaurant industry, coming from retail,” he said.
Overall, Estrada said the company was staying busy and could pick up. This week, President Joe Biden announced a $2 trillion infrastructure plan that would include the repair of bridges, rebuilding of 20,000 miles of roads and expanding access to clean water and broadband.
The plan would create millions of jobs, Biden said.
"We have to move now, because I'm convinced that if we act now, in 50 years people are going to look back and say, 'This was the moment that America won the future,'" Biden said.
The proposal, if passed, would be spread out over eight years. It would be paid for over 15 years by raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. Some Republicans have criticized the plan as a tax hike and spending spree.
NBC News reported Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Wednesday morning that he was unlikely to support anything "if it's going to have massive tax increases and trillions more added to the national debt."
In Alvarado, Brown said the focus remained on the projects they have in front of them right now and hiring the staff necessary to complete their work.
“We’d likely see the impact develop over time as those large infrastructure projects are planned and implemented,” she said, referring to the proposal. “But right now, we’re busy and expect to get busier.”
The job fair will be held Saturday, April 10 at Thompson Pipe Group at 800 County Roud 209 in Alvarado from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.