An international employment company that specializes in the oil and gas industry, as well as technology, has opened an office in Port Arthur ahead of what the company believes will be a labor boom for the region.

NES Global Talent, which has 58 offices based in 33 countries, opened its latest center on Highway 365 in Port Arthur earlier this month, and is planning outreach events in the coming weeks to introduce itself to the community.

Vice President Craig Paterson said the Port Arthur area is in the early stages of what NES is predicting will be a boom in demand for technical labor, a boom his company wants to help flourish from the beginning.

“There is just a lot of work; a lot of activity coming to this area,” Paterson told local news outlet the Beaumont Enterprise. “Last time I looked, there were at least 10 projects in and around that region with about $30 billion in investment all starting between 2019 and 2022.”

Paterson said one of the projects drawing the most attention from the technical staffing industry was Golden Pass LNG, a joint venture between Exxon Mobil and Qatar Petroleum expected to generate thousands of jobs during its construction phase, but activity from Total Petrochemicals, Sempre LNG and Motiva helps make the area a hotspot for employment opportunity.

Manufacturing, the category tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that also covers oil and chemical manufacturing, has been on a decline since 2015 when about 23,000 people were employed in the sector in the Beaumont-Port Arthur metropolitan statistical area. Jobs started to tick up to 22,000 in 2018, but have declined again in the first couple of months in 2019.

Projection numbers will likely change as state and federal agencies revise their numbers, a process that can take months or years, but Paterson said companies like his have to react sooner than statistical analysis.

“We don’t want to come once everything has been secured and laid out,” Paterson said. “We want to help prepare for what will happen. You need to build a relationship with a community so you can bridge talent and industry.”

Paterson said NES would try to create that bridge through close relationships with industry, technical schools and labour solutions centres, but it would also try to recruit outside talent for companies desperate to fill positions that require specialized experience and education.

NES makes its bones on being able to find talent for the kind of companies flocking to the region to cash in on Texas’ oil and gas boom, but Paterson said the real trick for any staffing agency is recruiting people who will be able to stay in that job past the initial start-up.