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one of twenty states that received a grant in order to assess the program’s potential effectiveness.  The results of Nevada’s participation in this program have been significant.  Participation in the reemployment assessment program, through participating in that program, unemployment insurance claimants stayed on unemployment for an average of three weeks of those who are similarly situated in the program.  This three-week reduction in benefits equates to approximately a $5 million savings to the unemployment insurance trust fund.  Given the success of the program, the Division recently applied for continued federal funding of the program for 2007.  Given its demonstrated benefit in assisting workers securing employment sooner than they might have had they not participated in the program.  That concludes my presentation and I’d be happy to answer any questions.  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Chair:Any questions or any comment from council members?  Thank you, Cynthia.

Agenda Item V - Continued Growth & Construction in Las Vegas

Chair:I’ll call upon Rick Wilkening, Council Member, who is going to speak to us on continued growth and construction in Las Vegas.  Rick?

Wilkening:Thank you, Paul.  As a business representative for the Carpenter’s Union, I’ve had a unique privilege and that’s of being employed in the second largest industry in the State of Nevada since 1985.  And that industry is construction.  In 1985, there were less than 500,000 in Clark County and then I had the opportunity to witness the start of just an unbelievable growth period.  From the first mega resort, which was the Mirage, which was built in 1989, to what is now called the largest privately financed construction project in U.S. history, which is the Project City Center, being built by the MGM/Mirage Corporation.  And that particular project is a $7.4 billion, 18 million square foot complex that will employ over 7,000 construction workers at its peak, with its grand opening in 2009.  The fact that construction is responsible for over 113,500 jobs in Clark County alone, leaves it second only to gaming in the State of Nevada.  And as a business representative of the Carpenter’s Union, I have again had the unique opportunity to view the building boom and reflect on the years leading up to the present.  Since 1985, I have participated as a carpenter in a great many construction projects, both in Laughlin, Nevada as well as in Las Vegas.  And one thing I’ve noticed is that other than right after 9-11, which time everything absolutely came to an abrupt halt, there’s only been a slight slow down in construction and never really a full stoppage of work.  We’ve continued to build or remodel existing buildings, with very few bumps in the road.  Though there was a slow down after the Mirage was first built back in 1990, it just was to reflect gaming digesting this new concept in hotel construction, the megaresorts.  Then it was off to the races.  In the mid-90's, there was the MGM, Treasure Island, Excalibur, the Luxor, Bellagio, New York, New York, Paris, Monte Carlo, and the Aladdin, Venetian and Mandalay Bay, just to name a few.  They were all built in the mid-90's and again, the gaming industry slowed down to see what was going to happen.  In the meantime, existing hotels began to remodel, providing high paying jobs.  Jobs that provide people with something more than a paycheck.  Jobs that had

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