Rachel Sapin / Albuquerque Business First / Oct 19, 2017
With plans to invest $1.5 billion over the next three years to support long-term growth in Texas and New Mexico, Xcel Energy says it also is expecting a need for more workers in those states.
"Workforce development is a big priority for us because of the large number of employees who will be eligible to retire in the coming decade," said Wes Reeves, a spokesman with Xcel in Texas and New Mexico.
Reeves said Xcel has 218 full-time employees in New Mexico and 1,489 in Texas. He said the company plans for a little over 800 of those employees to be eligible for retirement in the next decade.
Reeves said the company is emphasizing craft worker opportunities for young people in smaller towns where Xcel is based, touting a starting salary of $50,000 or more, according to the company. He said those craft positions include jobs for electricians and linemen, and right now make up 25 percent of the New Mexico and Texas regional workforce.
According to Reeves, jobs where employees are eligible to retire soon are also distributed across all of Xcel's work areas, not just in craft occupations.
Minneapolis-based Xcel's most recent large projects have been in rural parts of New Mexico. In May the company completed a $5.6 million grid improvement project in Hobbs.