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Rebuilding a business
Rebuilding a business
Leetex Construction's staff -- including Betty Spann, Hank Green, Vickie Ruiz, Alan Grimes, Chris Broerman and Jonathan Fair -- is staying intact thanks to government work.

Leetex Construction
Dallas
Job count: 6 new workers hired

Leetex Construction in Dallas won just over $2 million in stimulus contracts to renovate existing construction, primarily at Fort Hood, a nearby Army base. The projects, each of which took between two and three months, are nearly complete.

Rick Karlos, Leetex Construction's owner, added six employees: four to work in the field and two to manage the paperwork associated with the government contracts.

But Karlos isn't complaining about the administrative overhead. "It is not a problem, it is just another step," Karlos says. "Our industry, on the private side, there is not any work. It is an awful time. There is state work, country work, city work, but in the private sector, there is not any work."

Karlos sees 25 resumes come across his desk every day. Currently, he employs about 15 full-time workers, but that number is in constant flux depending on the workload. Without the stimulus projects, it could very well have plummeted to zero.

"Without the stimulus money, I am not sure we would still be here," Karlos says of his company, which opened in 2002.

In addition to adding jobs, the stimulus work has bought Karlos some breathing room.

"It provides me time to reevaluate the business and figure out how we are going to survive this economy, instead of throwing in the towel," he says.

His plan involves bidding on as many federal contracts as he can. "I am going to be optimistic about it," Karlos says. "I am going to say that we are going to get enough work to keep the people we have. We may not make a lot of money, but enough to hang in there."

NEXT: Preventing forest fires

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LAST UPDATE: Feb 01 2010 | 12:20 PM ET
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