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Sinton residents react to steel mill project and its 600 new jobs

Steel Dynamics website homepage announcing Sinton mill
Posted at 9:48 PM, Jul 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-23 23:26:32-04

SINTON, Tx. — Sinton, with its population of fewer than 6,000 residents, is getting a steel mill that could employ a tenth of the town, and for the most part, people are happy about it.

"I've been watching the news and I've been very hopeful that this will come to pass for this community and the surrounding suburbs of the county," Sinton resident of 32 years Sandra Campbell said.

The news came Monday night, but by the end of the day Tuesday it seemed like everyone in town had heard that Steel Dynamics out of Indiana is building its newest mill in Sinton. It will likely mean new arrivals to the Coastal Bend to fill some of the 600 new jobs, but plenty of people from Sinton and the surrounding communities will work there too.

"It's hard to find jobs here in Sinton, especially if you want to stay here in Sinton and not go work out of town," lifelong Sinton resident Ester Padilla said.

Availability of housing in Sinton was one concern people voiced. Nearby communities will likely benefit from that. There was also talk of the possibility of school overcrowding, but Sinton ISD Superintendent Chad Jones put those concerns to rest. He says the district will be able to accommodate an influx of students based partially on the tax money the steel plant will generate.

But then there's impact of all of those workers and their families on Sinton's small town-feel. Longtime resident Emma Aguirre isn't worried. In fact, she says the town could use more life since highway bypasses have led to reduced traffic.

"Bringing these jobs to the economy, I think we'll have more businesses in this little town," Aguirre said.