AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Gestamp Renewable Industries has been operating out of Amarillo for about two months now. This is the Spanish company's first American wind tower manufacturing plant.
"We've been running better than expected," said GRI plant manager, John Mulhall.
Mulhall says business is booming.
"We're building the towers and they're moving through the process," said Mulhall. "The first towers are just getting to end of the production cycle. So, it's been about 8 weeks since we started those towers to get them to the final stages."
But he also says they could use more employees, welders and lots of them.
"We're going to be around 300 employees," said Mulhall. "Possibly later in 2017 we'll be up closer to 400."
With the help from Workforce Solutions, GRI will host another hiring event looking for more than 120 new workers.
"It's probably not going to be a job that will go away," program manger with Workforce Solutions, Steve Cross. "We're real fortunate in Amarillo to have a good economy and to have a company that's willing to relocate here."
But is the economy in too good of shape to hire? With the unemployment rate so low in our area, the push to get more workers will be a struggle.
"We've been having difficulty filling all our spots and finding a big enough pool of candidates," said Mulhall.
Despite the challenge, the company is hoping to draw people from other areas.
"From Pampa and other areas. People who are commuting are finding work here in town, but it's going to be a challenge to get up to 400 employees just based on the unemployment rate in the city," said Mulhall.
No matter if GRI can manage to hire more workers, the company says they are happy to be in Amarillo.
"The quality of life is a big part of what GRI tries to offer to these people with steady work," said Mulhall. We're looking forward to becoming a major employer in the city and becoming a good corporate citizen of Amarillo."