APCO nets task to help rebuild Gulf

WASHINGTON: APCO World- wide and Zehnder Communications are handling PR and marketing for a push to recruit and train up to 20,000 new Gulf Coast construction workers by 2009.

WASHINGTON: APCO World- wide and Zehnder Communications are handling PR and marketing for a push to recruit and train up to 20,000 new Gulf Coast construction workers by 2009.

The Gulf Rebuild: Education, Advancement, and Training campaign, created by the Business Roundtable, an association of 160 US corporate CEOs that promotes economic growth, is using federal funds to provide four weeks of free training to prospective construction workers in the area where hurricanes in 2005 left a shortage of both housing and workers. The Roundtable will first target Baton Rouge, LA, and Jackson, MI, for a three-month pilot program.

APCO and Louisiana-based Zehnder will reach out to local and national media and work with local job centers, churches, and other groups to offer information on the training programs.

Tita Freeman, the Roundtable's director of communications, said her group has committed about $5 million initially to promote the training through both ads and PR, with perhaps 60% of the money going toward radio and billboards ads.

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