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DENVER-Richard O’Brecht, president of the Associated General Contractors of Colorado, which represents commercial real estate building contractors, tells GlobeSt.com that while Hurricane Katrina may be one of the worst natural disasters ever in the US, he doesn’t think a lot of workers will flock to the area from Denver.

“There are contractors, who specialize in flood and fire restoration that exist in every state that are gong there,” O’Brecht tells GlobeSt.com, “but I don’t see a mass exodus.” O’Brecht’s group represents both union and non-union workers who have built office buildings, industrial buildings, and major government projects such as the Denver International Airport, he says.

Derrell Cohoon, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of Louisiana, agrees. “I’m getting a lot of calls from folks, but I’m not seeing them coming in yet,” Cohoon tells GlobeSt.com in a phone interview from his Baton Rouge, LA office. “They’re still rescuing people down in ‘Orleans. The area is still largely cordoned off and they’re still evacuating people. It’s just too early.”

Cohoon says that if you combine contractors who work for homebuilders, commercial AGG members and industrial real estate builders, there are about 350,000 construction workers in Louisiana.

“Our concern right now is that are workers have been disbursed,” he tells GlobeSt.com “But we are pretty good at locating them. And they’ve been quick to call us. If people think our construction industry is on our back, they are wrong. We had a pretty hot economy with a lot of commercial work before Katrina, so eventually we expect a worker shortage. We will welcome qualified workers from Colorado and elsewhere, once we can start rebuilding.”

Jerry Morgensen, president of Hensel Phelps Co., the largest general contracting firm in Colorado, says there are logistical restraints that will keep workers from Colorado traveling to New Orleans at this time. Namely, there is no housing for the people who lost their homes in the flood, much less people coming to rebuild the city.

In an effort to assist displaced companies in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, GlobeSt.com has provided a list of local real estate experts on hand to help.

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