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NEWS | April 15, 2008

Generator brings power, jobs to clothing factory

By None , MNC-I

CAMP STRIKER, Iraq (April 15, 2008) – The Ready Made Clothing Company is ready to take on a greater load thanks to the donation of an 850-kilowatt generator to the factory in Mahmudiyah, Iraq, April 12.

The factory currently operates at 10 percent of its former capacity, using only a small area of its complex. The new generator, for which the Baghdad-4 embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team, attached to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, coordinated delivery, will end bouts of intermittent power and increase job opportunities as well as production. The increased power will allow the factory to return to two shifts and significantly increase the number of employees, which now stands at 45.

Mahmudiyah Qada Mayor Jabbar Farraj Mullah al-Chalabi thanked the ePRT and coalition forces for the donation of the generator which he hopes will lead to employment of an additional 150 Iraqis.

“The generator should provide enough power to allow all the machines to function, bringing the factory back to its pre-war capacity,” said Mussif Jaseem, manager of Ready Made Clothing Company.

The delivery of the generator is good news to the women of Iraq too, as this brings them one step closer to employment.

“The on-the-job training center will be focused on educating women for jobs in the local economy,” said Capt. Martrell Gamble, 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div. officer in charge of the women’s outreach project.

Gamble and other female Soldiers facilitated multiple meetings with local Iraqi women in February to see what kinds of job opportunities they would like to see in their communities. As a result, some of the currently unused portions of the Ready Made Clothing Company complex will be turned into a vocational center for Iraqi women to learn skills such as sewing, computers and health education.

Once renovations of those buildings take place, Gamble said the hope is that up to 600 women will receive vocational training and then gain employment from the Ready Made Clothing Company.

The company was established in 1975 and was fully operational by 1980. It employed an average of 700 people, 80 percent of whom were women.