Utah's work force and work ethic is catching the interest of national corporations and is even recognized overseas, Davis County business and political leaders were told Monday.

John B. Romney, assistant to industrialist John Huntsman, the state's economic ambassador, told the group the state's partnership of private industry and public agencies is an effective tool in attracting new industry to Utah and creating new jobs.Romney was guest speaker at the businessman's appreciation luncheon at the Hill Air Force Base Officer's Club, sponsored by the Davis Council of Governments. The lunch is held annually during Utah's Economic Development Week.

As an example of the public-private partnership, Romney cited the "custom fit" job-training program in Utah, which he said ranks as one of the best in the country.

Utah is making strides in attracting national telemarketing, aerospace, and financial-support service companies, Romney said. And the state's labor pool and work ethic makes it attractive for businesses to expand, creating more jobs, after they have relocated here.

Romney said 25,000 jobs were created in the state last year, mostly through economic development efforts. Utah's unemployment rate is under 5 percent, the lowest in 10 to 12 years, he said.

Looking to the future, Romney said the cold nuclear fusion process under study - and under attack - at the University of Utah could be the biggest boon to economic development in the state's history.

And, he told the businessmen and political leaders, bringing the Winter Olympics to the Wasatch Front would not only boost the state's economy but its image to the outside world.

Discussing his boss, Romney described Huntsman's educational and business background, including time spent as a presidential adviser.

Huntsman is a "caring, charismatic" individual concerned about creating jobs in Utah, Romney said. That concern led him last summer to declare his intention to run for governor, challenging incumbent Norm Bangerter, he said.