CBP sets out to fill 11,000 jobs in Texas
By Aileen B. Flores
El Paso Times
EL PASO -- Dozens of job-seekers attended the U.S. Customs and Border Protection employment fair Saturday at the Border Patrol Museum in Northeast El Paso.
The event was part of A New Year, New Career, a CBP national campaign to spread the word about career options in the agency, said Rick Lopez, a CBP spokesman. Open houses were held Saturday at 15 locations throughout the United States, he said.
Lopez said the agency is aiming to hire more than 11,000 agents by the end of 2009. The positions will be filled within the offices of Field Operations, Border Patrol, and Air and Marine, he said.
"Considering the way the economy is right now, this is a great opportunity," he said.
By 11 a.m. Saturday, more than 100 people had received information on how to apply for a CBP position, said Karla Johnson of the Border Patrol.
Applicants asked about salaries, benefits and job security in the largest law enforcement agency of the Department of Homeland Security, Lopez said.
Luis Longoria, 26, a phone-company sales representative who got married a few months ago, said the starting pay of about $40,000 a year and the benefits are very attractive.
Longoria received help on how to fill out his application and said he expects to receive a response in less than six months.
Amber Duchene, 19, said she grew up wanting to be a part of law enforcement.
Duchene, a criminal justice student at El Paso Community College, said the CBP provided her a better opportunity for a job.
"In the Army, I'm scared of going to war," she said. "At the police department, I have to be 21 and older. This offers people 18 to 40 an opportunity."
The CBP will continue to receive job applications through its Web site, www.cbp.gov, Lopez said.