Hispanic Entrepreneurs Oral History Project
Summary of Interview
Alfredo Borrego, owner of Alco Machine Tool and Steel, Inc., surmounted considerable challenges in order to establish his business. He shares the nature of those challenges, his early life growing up in El Paso, and his advice for new entrepreneurs. Born in 1961 to Hector Borrego and Francisca Zuñiga Borrego, Alfredo learned the value of hard work early on as his father demanded that he accompany him on his job as a pool table/bowling alley mechanic. After graduating from Burges High School in 1979, Borrego began working in a Juarez maquiladora, but by 1990 found himself unemployed after being laid off. Fortunately, a former instructor from the El Paso Tech Center suggested that they partner together in order to create their own metalworking company. Borrego relates how difficult it was to find banks willing to extend credit and, consequently, how tight money was in the beginning. In fact, for the better part of the first year the partners would either forego paychecks altogether or alternate paying themselves. Eventually, however, Borrego found that his policies of aggressive sales, quality work, and a fair price worked to his advantage as he was able to expand his services through the purchase of better equipment and the hiring of additional employees. At the time of the interview, Borrego has increased his client base to both out-of-town and government entities. In conclusion, Borrego advises new business owners to go for their dreams and to work hard.
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Interview with Alfredo Borrego by Steve Figueroa, 2009, "Interview no. 1528," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.