The chairman of the Corpus Christi Port Commission, Mike Carrell, told a lunchtime crowd at the Solomon P. Ortiz Center Wednesday that the Port is in the middle of a growth spurt.
However, Carrell said all that growth does come with a downside.
Carrell was speaking at the annual State of the Port luncheon. He said the good news about the growth is the result of the Eagle Ford Shale play and the growth that discovery has created both on and off Port property, throughout the Coastal Bend.
The Port, now celebrating its 87th year in operation, is playing host to a number of companies; some that have been here for decades, and others who are building facilities at the Port now, or are about to.
Carrell said the infrastructure that has been built for the Port in the past 100 puts the Port in a better business position than a majority of ports across the United States.
"For the next -- not just year or two, it's going to last a long time -- the capitol that these companies are putting in the community, just what I mentioned, is over $20 billion. So it's not here today and gone tomorrow. They're here for the long haul."
How does that translate to jobs? According to Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend, job availability has increased 95-percent in just the past three years.
So what's the downside?
"For the Eagle Ford Shale play, they're hiring truck drivers, or heavy equipment operators, which also need that type of license," said Monika De La Garza of Workforce Solutions. "They're taking these people that drive buses in the school system, or that drive buses in the City system or city workers that fix the streets. It's affecting everything."
Officials also say that one bright note is that more companies are offering on-the-job training that weren't offering it before.
While the labor pool is a bit shallow, De La Garza said they posted some 2,000 available jobs in the Coastal Bend that were almost all directly related to Eagle Ford Shale.
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