BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Brownsville-based National Electric Coil, which manufacturers coils for electric generators, is looking for 50 general laborers and is willing to pay a base rate of $8.50 an hour with shift incentives.

The second shift pays $9.01 per hour and the third shift pays $13 an hour.

For more information, call National Electric Coil’s human resources department at 956-541-1759. Alternatively call Select Starr at 956-544-8373. Or Express Employment Professionals at 956-550-8510.

“We are in need of 50 general laborers and we cannot find them anywhere,” said Olivia Bedolla, human resources manager for National Electric Coil. “You do not need any skills set, we train them. So we are open to hire anyone who wants a job.”

Lack of fluency is English is all not a problem, Bedolla said. 

“We are bilingual and we can train them in Spanish. They have to be able to lift up to 50 pounds. And they have to be able to be willing to work.”

Bedolla made her comments at a booth National Electric Coil shared with Select Staff at the much-heralded Career and Coffee jobs fair hosted by the City of Brownsville and Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation (GBIC). 

Career and Coffee was the biggest event of its kind ever in the Rio Grande Valley, with more than 1,500 job openings. It was held at the Brownsville Event Center on Monday, June 28, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The most popular jobs were with SpaceX. A long line of workers waited patiently to learn more about the company’s hiring needs. Other major employers at the careers fair were DHR Health, which is opening a hospital in Brownsville later this year, Keppel Amfels, Steel Coast, Southwest Key, Valley Baptist Health System and the City of Brownsville.

“It is incredible. We had over 600 people register, which was not even a requirement. I have just seen a long line outside, and just the energy in the room (is amazing),” said Helen Ramirez, deputy city manager for Brownsville and executive director of GBIC. “You have a career and a wonderful future here in Brownsville.”

Ramirez said the careers expo is “just the beginning” of what the City of Brownsville and GBIC want to do for the local community. 

“Really (we want) to help our companies flourish and be successful. We know we have wonderful talent that wants to come back or that wants to stay, that has just graduated and wants a career here in Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley.”

Asked what the huge turnout of potential workers says about Brownsville and surrounding communities, Ramirez said the future looks bright.

“I always talk about perception and reality not being aligned. In this case, if there was a perception that there were no jobs here, well this breaks that perception, right?” Ramirez said.

“It realigns it to the reality that there are jobs, we have great companies here of all different sizes, they are hiring, they are here.”

Indeed, Ramirez said the 1,500 figure may be underplaying it.

“In the last job count that we did, it is almost closer to 2,000 jobs that we are providing. Many are ready to hire on the spot,” she said.

Ramirez said the City of Brownsville and GBIC are already thinking about holding another big career expo. She said other companies have contacted her and want to be part of the next one.

Ramirez said she was pleased that, in addition to talking to potential employers, the expo allowed workers to practice their interview skills and have a professional headshot taken. Workers could also use laptops at the venue to register for a job.

Editor’s Note: The podcast below features interviews with Ramirez and Bedolla, as well as Mario Torres from UT-Rio Grande Valley, and Maribel Baca from Select Staff:

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