Monday, June 07, 2004

Despite the destabilizing efforts of anti-coalition terrorists and suicide bombers, a Utahn involved in rebuilding Iraq predicted Sunday the country's reconstruction is about to take off.

Centerville resident Robert Gross, a former Utah Department of Workforce Services executive director, returned home Saturday after spending the past four months helping the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority prepare Iraqi bureaucrats to put people back to work and handle other social-service needs when power is turned over to an interim Iraqi government on June 30.

"Job availability will really begin to take off in earnest now," said Gross, citing the $18.4 billion in supplemental funding that will be released to private contractors to reverse the destruction of the war and years of tyranny before that.

"It will emerge in the next 60-90 days in almost unbelievable fashion as contractors put the supplementary money to use on construction and reconstruction projects," he added. "With $12 billion for construction of schools, colleges, trade schools, oil facilities, electricity, infrastructure, roads, highways and buildings, there will be a huge demand for jobs in the construction trades."

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