It is a wonderful statement about who we are as Americans.

[Government officials say assistance for victims is a priority, and that steps have been taking to streamline the payment process. And they also say the storm will yield new jobs and opportunity.] In the recovery will come restoration and rebuilding, ... After a national disaster, there is an expanded burst of new construction activity.

[Katrina will have a] tremendous ... It definitely will be devastating.

It wasn't the Mayflower. It wasn't the Love Boat. But it brought us to this magical country and reunited our family, so it was beautiful to me, ... Faith, hard work and the kindness of new friends carried my family forward and made it possible for me to become the first Asian-Pacific-American woman to serve in the Cabinet of a president of the United States.

These are strong numbers, but they are not conclusive numbers.

These numbers show more fully the impact of the attacks of Sept. 11 on our country, ... We had been anticipating these numbers.

Repetitive-stress injuries in the workplace are an important problem. I recognize this critical challenge and want you to understand that the safety and health of our nation's workforce will always be a priority during my tenure as Secretary.

[She tells USA TODAY that demand for some professions needed in rebuilding was already strained amid demand for new housing. A labor shortage could push up wages, she says.] We're going to see a tremendous boom in construction, ... People want to come back home.

Today, men and women in uniform ... work so hard on our behalf to protect our freedom (and) our liberty. As they give their best for us, we want to be there for them, ... The good news for returning veterans is that the demand for skilled talent is very strong.