Another Reason We’re Doomed

Leila Martinez has it figured it out, according to this article:


That’s what El Paso’s workforce needs to increase wages and grow the economy, Leila Melendez, chief executive officer of Workforce Solutions Borderplex, this area’s public employment agency.

“Sixty-seven percent of our (area) workers are in the bottom half of skills and wages. Ninety thousand of them have at least a high school diploma, plus some college, but are in entry level jobs and earn less than the living wage,” Melendez said.

I imagine lots of our decision makers don’t have a lot of real life experience.

“Imagine what our economy and our community would look like if we just upskilled those 90,000 workers,” she said.

 It would increase wages and also open more jobs at lower-skill levels as workers move into higher-skilled positions, she said.

The way to do this is to get employers to focus on providing more training for current and new workers, she said.

Imagine if that cashier at Albertson’s knew how to fly a jet.

Most of the jobs in the El Paso job market provide no room to advance.

If a cashier at Albertson’s has some innate ability and motivation, he/she might be able climb the ladder, and move into a more lucrative position like produce manager, and maybe, eventually, grab the top spot as General Manager.


But job advancement is typically a winnowing process. From all those ambitious cashiers at Albertson’s, only a few will advance to department manager, and fewer still to General Manager.

There are easier ways to make more money than toiling away at some entry-level job.

Like moving to Austin.


  1. Worse yet, in El Paso, if one does manage to move up within any given hierarchy, one will hit a point where the people who make decisions about filling administrative vacancies seem to favor doing job searches that take them out of town, and we end up with people from outside coming in and mucking things up, if you know what I mean. (Joyce Wilson and her successor come to mind).

  2. I think we should encourage more El Paso folks to take on remote positions. This will clear the way for upward advancement for entry level workers who apply themselves. Stagnation is a killer. There are a bunch of interesting looking jobs on I’m not affiliated, I just like the ux. Many of the jobs listed pay well too.

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