ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – Everywhere you look there are help wanted signs. While most of those are for restaurants and retail stores, one southeast New Mexico community is feeling the pinch because they are in a desperate search for engineers. The city of Roswell’s Engineering Department needs help after projects have begun to pile up. Currently, they are working on 29 different projects and the city’s engineer, Louis Najar, says there are more and more that are coming up.
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“It is slowing some of the projects because people don’t realize the design starts at the beginning then all the certifications, the actual design then your construction, your construction management, your audits, all the stuff that goes with one project,” Najar said.
The city needs to fill at least two engineering positions but always needs more. The city has been trying to get people since April 2020.
“The New Mexico Department of Roswell in District 2, I understand had three vacancies now they are down to two but they have also had those vacancies for about a year as well. I understand that the city of Farmington that also trying,” said Najar.
The New Mexico Department of Transportation says they are constantly trying to fill these positions. The city is hoping that they can fill assistant engineer positions and engineer technicians but it’s a competition for other cities and the state.
“The New Mexico DOT and the state entities they also use other web searches and that’s stuff to help find engineers,” says Najar
The shortage is forcing some cities to offer extra incentive packages to attract engineers. Roswell is competing with private firms that are short of engineers. Since May, there have been 1,500 architecture and engineering openings in New Mexico according to Workforce Solutions.