Hispanic Entrepreneurs Oral History Project
Summary of Interview
Oscar Venegas was born in Juarez, Mexico and obtained dual citizenship in the United States and Mexico. Venegas is a graduate of Burges High School, here he was influenced to become financially successful. He enrolled at The University of Texas at El Paso and graduated with a degree in civil engineering. After graduating, Venegas started working for local businesses, R.E. McKee and Jordan & Nobles. In 1982, Venegas decided to go into business for himself instead of working for McKee and Jordan & Nobles. With previous knowledge of sales and project managing, Venegas began his own construction company. He was unable to get an SBA loan in El Paso, so he moved to San Antonio, Texas for a loan. Business did not go as planned because there was little to no profit for his company. He decided to move back to El Paso in order to make a larger profit. He began work with John Noble contractors and then invested in Urban Associates, Inc. with experienced business partners. Venegas’ next business venture was his own business called VEMAC Inc. With experience, he was able to become more successful than before. This time Venegas had a more organized business plan which covered the company overhead and guaranteed profit by bonding and taking on more projects. Venegas recalls the first part of his career where being a hispanic was a challenge, but the market and population shifted to where he feels it is an advantage. Venegas stays active in the community by trying to hire UTEP graduates and is involved in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and labor unions in El Paso.
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Interview with Oscar Venegas by Homero Galicia, 2009, "Interview no. 1542," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.