Al Dia Dallas: Iconic buildings in Dallas and Fort Worth Have Been Built By Hispanics
Hispanic workers have been an important part of the construction of the most important buildings in North Texas. Three Latino workers shared their experiences leaving footprints in some of the most outstanding infrastructure in the Dallas and Fort Worth area.
The Latino Impact
The million Hispanics who live in Dallas have had a great impact on the growth and development of the county, according to Guadalupe Vásquez, co-founder of the National Hispanic Contractors Association (NAHICA). They have played an important role in bringing the region to where it is now — with great infrastructure, iconic buildings, and skyscrapers.
“They build our streets, our schools, our houses…everything you see around you is practically being built by a Hispanic,” Vasquez said.
United To the Progress of a City
According to Vásquez, if the Hispanic stops working in construction or dedicate himself to another type of employment, it can affect the progress of the city's growth.
Laying the Foundations of Perot
Victor Ramírez, an employee of the Balfour Beatty construction company since the age of 18, said he takes pride in every project he has been involved in. In the summer of 2010, Ramirez began work on the construction of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, known for its iconic architecture in downtown Dallas.
“My children take field trips to the museum and they tell their friends that I helped make the building,” said Ramírez, 42. "It's like a moment of pride and I feel recognized."
Fascination with her father's achievements led Ramírez's 20-year-old daughter to follow in his footsteps.
“I have a daughter in college and she's grown up in construction because I've been doing it for 23 years,” said Ramirez, an Oak Cliff resident and native. “She is going to school to study construction and she is Hispanic and female.”
His daughter is studying for a degree in construction site management at the University of Texas at Tyler and will graduate in the summer of 2024.
Visas Would Help
According to Vásquez, there is a labor shortage in the construction sector in North Texas. NAHICA is working with construction companies to obtain certifications that will help them grant visas to people from Mexico and El Salvador seeking employment in the United States.
With or without a shortage, Hispanics will continue to be the majority of workers in the construction sector, Vásquez said.
The BLS reports that there are nearly 140,000 construction employees in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Nationally, it indicates that 48.9% of construction workers were Hispanic in 2021.
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