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El Paso: Where History and Cultures Meet in the Sun City

This month, our FSG branch focus takes us to El Paso, Texas, where history and cultures meet, where the sun shines 302 days each year, and where locals know a thing or two about authentic cuisine.

While the area has a rich history that stretches back thousands of years, El Paso is not preserved as merely a relic of times gone by.  The city today has a solid grip on the future, with growth and development reflecting the influx of new people and opportunities arriving in El Paso every day.

For citizens and visitors alike, there is much to enjoy about life in El Paso.  Let’s take a quick look at the city, its history, and architecture, and focus for a moment on why our El Paso branch makes us smile so much.

A Mountain Pass in the Way, Way Back

Anyone interested in ancient history can scratch that itch in El Paso.  Just north of town is the Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site, an 860-acre park maintained by the state of Texas and dedicated to preserving a link to humans who lived over a thousand years ago.

The park is located in a high-altitude desert basin between the Franklin Mountains to the west and the Hueco Mountains to the east.  Hueco is a Spanish word meaning “hollows”, and the park is named after the many water-holding depressions ancient humans carved in the boulders and rock faces at the site to collect rainwater.

Source: George Burr Richardson, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The distinctive rock depressions and preserved pictographs found at Hueco Tanks provide visitors with a connection to the late Stone Age of human development, hundreds of years before what would come to be known as the pre-Columbian era of North and South America.

Fast forward through the ages to 1680, following the arrival of Spanish explorers to the Americas, and we find that what is modern-day El Paso was finally given a lasting name.  Spanish Franciscan friars named the region El Paso del Norte for its natural role as a preferred passage through the mountains on journeys to and from what was then northern Mexico.

Through many years of revolution, rebellion, and shifting borderlines, El Paso del Norte remained an important trade route and crossing point between the various cultures that inhabited the region. 

Finally, in 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo specified the border between the United States and Mexico with modern-day El Paso on the north side of the Rio Grande river, and Ciudad Juarez to the south.

Source: United States. Army. Corps Of Topographical Engineers; Emory, William H. (William Hemsley); Mcclelland, Robert; Siebert, Selmar, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Two years later, in 1850, the official boundary between Texas and New Mexico was drawn, placing El Paso at the westernmost point of the vast region of west Texas.

Throughout its long history, El Paso has benefitted from its geographic location which supports the city’s status as a premier manufacturing, transportation, and retail center for the U.S. Southwest.  While not every road travels through El Paso, quite a few do.

Landmarks Around Town

When traveling to El Paso, you’ll want to make sure you stay in a comfortable hotel.  Luckily, the crown jewel of El Paso hotels is open for business and ready to meet you.

The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park brings a rich history to every encounter and provides a stunning rooftop view of the mountains as the sun goes down.

Source: Typhoon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

El Paso owes much to the work of Henry C. Trost, the architect whose firm Trost & Trost designed more than 500 buildings from the Pecos River to Tucson, Arizona, with over a third of them in El Paso.  When staying at the Plaza, remember Henry and consider the gift that architects leave for future travelers to discover.

Not to be confused with the hotel of the same name, the Plaza Theatre in El Paso is a historic building, built in 1930. The theater still hosts live events today and is considered one of the most important landmarks in the city.

El Paso, Texas / USA – August 6, 2015: Evening and the bright lights of the historic Plaza Theater.

Before you visit El Paso, check the schedule at the Plaza Theatre and maybe you’ll be able to take in a show at this one-of-a-kind venue.

Another Trost & Trost-designed building worthy of remark is the O.T. Bassett building located at 303 Texas Avenue in downtown El Paso.  This art deco high-rise building was once the tallest in the city, and for many fans of art deco design remains a stunning example of an era’s ideal.

Source: Camerafiend at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Finally, visitors to El Paso will want to take in the impressive St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The church was designed and built to present the form of a Byzantine basilica, in the Italian Renaissance style.  For fans of stained glass art, the cathedral is a must-visit.

Source: Lyricmac at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Wherever your wanderings around El Paso take you, you’ll come face to face with a rich cultural heritage that makes you aware that you’re in a city like no other.  (After all that wandering, don’t forget you’re in El Paso. It’s time to eat some serious Mexican food.)

Sun City on the Up!

Today, nearly 950,00 citizens call El Paso, nicknamed “Sun City”, home.  According to a report compiled by the University of Texas El Paso, that number is set to increase dramatically in the coming years. 

With anticipated growth in the three regional markets of El Paso, Ciudad Juarez, and Las Cruces – collectively referred to as “The Borderplex” – the area is primed for growth and development.

Commercial real estate giant CBRE agrees with this assessment, as reflected in its 2021 U.S. Real Estate Market Outlook report.  According to CBRE, the outlook for the Southwest market was one of the bullish narratives in a very positive 2021 forecast for U.S. industrial real estate. 

The report states that the recently enacted U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) along with significant population growth place El Paso on track to experience a broadening of its manufacturing and logistics base at least through mid-decade.  As such, industrial rents in the El Paso market are expected to climb 28.5% through 2025, according to CBRE. 

Source: Talshiarr at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Initial fears about the long-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have been largely dispelled by the country’s collective response to the public health crisis.  Healthy retail trends have sent delivery and warehouse utilization levels rocketing higher. 

Warehouse demand will be further enhanced in reaction to inventory interruptions experienced during 2020.  As a consequence of several supply shortages during the height of the pandemic, a greater emphasis on inventory control and local product sourcing over intercontinental “just-in-time” distribution will result in increased on-hand inventories. 

So, if you’re looking for a hot business market, look no further than El Paso.

FSG El Paso – A Case Study for Success

FSG’s El Paso branch provides a real-time working example of what is possible, what is available, and what is within reach for those willing to step up to the challenge.

In 2016, when Branch Manager Jerrod Kew and his wife Sara moved to El Paso, the job involved working as a Service Manager for FSG’s Albuquerque branch.  In that role, Jerrod was tasked with ensuring that ongoing work for a major El Paso street lighting project was completed to the highest standards.

FSG El Paso | Around the Nation Tour

With just two local technicians and a commitment to hustle, Jerrod and his crew made their stay in El Paso more and more permanent, with new opportunities resulting in new local projects for the Albuquerque outpost.

By April 2019, Jerrod had brought Sara on to manage the dispatch and administrative sides of what was becoming a growing business, and FSG’s El Paso branch was officially born.

Today, with a growing roster of full-time technicians, field project management, and inside sales support, Jerrod’s team finds itself in a great location at just the right time.

Planting Seeds, Putting Down Roots

One measure of success involves the number of people who are able to share in it. For FSG El Paso, the magic is in the message the company delivers to area youth.

When long-time FSG electrical journeyman Ricardo Villareal decided to leave the trade and begin a career in education, it felt like a door might have closed at the El Paso branch.  But when Ricky went to work for local Riverside High School’s Electrical Trade & Solar Technology program, a window opened in a big way for FSG. 

Under Ricky’s leadership, the Riverside High School Electrical Trade & Solar Technology program has now aligned with a local mentor.  As you might expect, that local mentor is FSG.  

To begin the program, FSG extended an internship to one of Ricky’s star pupils, Gabriel, who worked part-time throughout the spring of 2021.  Now that he has graduated, the former intern has been hired full-time to begin work as an electrical apprentice and to begin preparing for his journeyman’s electrician license.  

Immanuel Christian School Case Study

Through the ongoing mentor relationship FSG El Paso maintains with Riverside High School, the promise of future success is being made to young people like Gabriel who are hungry for opportunities and willing to work hard to capitalize on them.

FSG’s El Paso branch has achieved incredible success by embracing the company’s core principles, providing exceptional customer service, and delivering lasting value to our customers.

But perhaps the most important measure of success involves the impact we are able to make on the lives of our employees, and on the lives of our future employees.

Source: FSG

Good Things Are Happening in El Paso

We have touched on just a few of the wonderful things folks love about El Paso, Texas.  When life gives you the opportunity to visit this singular spot, you might consider booking an extra day so you can ease into an extended tour and really experience the rich currents of history and culture yourself.

For our team at FSG’s El Paso branch, we couldn’t be more excited. The future is ripe with new opportunities, and there is a real buzz around the office.  Already, the first quarter of 2021 has exceeded the production of all of 2020, and it really does feel like the sky’s the limit.

Most importantly, the people on our El Paso team recognize the fact that they are in a special situation, with the tools and talent necessary to follow through on a real-deal 21st century American Dream.

Vista Star Realty Case Study

For the young people just entering the Electrical Trade & Solar Technology program at Riverside High School, there is a clear path forward that offers a safe, honorable, and rewarding career journey that supports families.

For Jerrod and Sara Kew, there is a thrill that comes from planting a seed, nurturing it through the early years, and watching it grow.  

For the El Paso business community, FSG’s growth within the local market has only provided more and better opportunities for them to get on board with a winning lighting and electrical contractor that places the delivery of excellent service above all other considerations.  

El Paso Lighting and Electrical Service Solutions

At FSG El Paso, we deliver prompt, safe, professional service to the following communities:

  • El Paso, TX
  • Socorro, TX
  • Fabins, TX
  • Canutillo, TX
  • Anthony, TX
  • Deming, NM
  • Lordsburg, NM
  • Anthony, NM
  • Las Cruces, NM
  • Hatch, NM
  • Alamogordo, NM
  • Tularosa, NM
  • Truth or Consequences, NM

For lighting retrofits, commercial signs, tenant improvement projects, electrical construction, parking lot lighting solutions, and the latest in facility disinfection options, FSG El Paso is the go-to provider for service beyond expectations.

For warehouse lighting projects, nobody delivers value like FSG.  Our customer-first approach to warehouse lighting and controls projects delivers creative financing and warranty solutions alongside the industry’s best, most responsive personal service.

Source: FSG

Across our company, we deliver the type of value our customers rave about. Take a look at our 300+ case studies.

The phones are ringing at our El Paso branch. And as a Clear Results trade affiliate with El Paso Electric, we are ready to answer your questions about available programs and incentives.  

For your next lighting, signage, or electrical construction project, give Jerrod Kew and his team a call at (915) 314-5237.

Maybe There’s a Place for You?

These days, everybody seems to be winning in El Paso.  For apprentice electricians who are seriously interested in becoming a journeyman electrician, master electrician, or project supervisor, FSG provides wonderful opportunities to get the experience you need while you grow your skillset and complete your studies.  

Our El Paso team is growing, and there are opportunities available right now all across our south Texas organization in El Paso, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi.  If you want to join a winning team where your future development will be supported and compensated, you really should consider visiting our careers page today.

Come see El Paso, take a look around, soak up some of that glorious sunshine, and imagine a successful future for yourself and your family in this growing, exciting community.

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