Mosul, Iraq-Students of the Tal Abtha Road project graduated from construction training classes at the site they have been working for the last several months.

The ceremony marked the completion of the first of three phases in constructing the road. The project was a collaborative effort between the Director General of Roads and Bridges, Green Dream Ltd. and Coalition forces. Its focus is to help the transportation and economic growth of more than 30 villages in the area.

"It's been hard work to finish this phase and the weather has not been kind during these months as well," said Haitham Abdul Khaliq, the Green Dream Ltd. project manager. "We appreciate the students and the teachers who have worked so hard on this."

The approximately 350 students began honing their construction skills in December 2008. They now have the expertise to complete construction on this project and will be eligible for hire with other construction projects in the region.

The students have been put into a government data bank, which shows them as skilled in one of five general construction areas. The government will use this data bank to employ workers for other construction projects, which need concrete and culvert work, road and gravel work, asphalt and grading work, steel work or heavy equipment operation. It will also be accessible to private construction companies so they can hire skilled workers for their companies.

"These students have discovered and learned skills that will enable them to work well in the private sectors," said Khaliq. "I wish them all progress and prosperity in their futures."

These students can potentially play key roles in the rebuilding of Iraq's damaged roads, buildings and various other things that their skill sets can be applied to repairing.

"We are now graduating good people who have learned the skills of this school," said Mr. Jalal, the school master.

Once all sections of this road are complete, it will stretch approximately 50 kilometers.

"We have achieved a good section of this road, which is going to be a total of 50 kilometers," Jalal said. "I have never seen such an achievement, it's tremendous."

The project is taking on new students from different areas for each of the three phases. This allows trained workers to be more evenly spread throughout this area of the Ninewah province.

"I want to thank the Coalition forces for having this opportunity for doing this project. It is going to open a lot of doors for a lot of families, so thank you very much," said Haji Ismael Umer Abdullah, the foreman of the project, who directly supervises the workers.

The original estimated cost of this project was approximately $15 million after all was said and done the contracted amount was roughly $13 million. Those funds were taken from the Iraqi Reconstruction bill.

Currently, the project is in phase two of the three phase project. There is constant supervision of this project to insure that the final product is everything that the project has worked toward.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16