Hundreds Flocking to Amarillo

Decades of work experience and no way of getting a paycheck... Hundreds of people in this situation are flocking to Amarillo. They're coming here to work construction.

Elsewhere, the economy is hitting hard and construction is slowing down, but here, we're seeing a construction boom, so to speak... With one company receiving more bids this past December than they have in years. Chris Swink moved to Amarillo from Burleson one month ago. "I was doing fence work. It was starting to slow down there and I need to work. Hundreds of others are making the same choice, moving here where there are still jobs.

Dustin Suttle, Project Manager at Kelly Wood Construction says, "The amount of resumes coming in has doubled." Workers aren't coming here for residential construction. They're coming for commercial construction, and they're coming from as far as 2,000 miles away. "Hollywood, California, Northern New York." Texas Panhandle Builder's Association President Brent King says, "I have a guy here from Georgia. I've seen some from Dallas, Houston, all over the US, they're coming from Kansas."

The reason they're flocking to commercial and forgoing residential.... Commercial properties take longer to complete, so they'll have guaranteed work for a longer stretch of time." Chris Swink has been a welder for his entire life. Many of those coming here are like Chris... They're life long workers who suddenly find themselves without a paycheck. Suttle says, "We have people coming in here with 10, 20, 30 years of experience, just looking for something to hold on to." This trend is a very recent one... This mass migration of workers to our area has happened just within the past few months.