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24 - Laptop Theft and Lessons; Coopers & Lybrand Report on Skills Gap

1. Laptop Theft and Lessons: I had a traumatic experience this week. While visiting my mother in Miami, Florida, my rental car was robbed and all of my luggage, including my Micron Laptop was stolen. I live my by laptop. It had all of my key information, personal diary, email addresses and even photos of my family. While some of this is backed up, a good amount is not. Lesson One: tell your colleagues to back up laptops on a regular basis. Lesson Two: the loss really hurt on a personal level. In a digital age, a laptop can be repository of a great deal of personal history and information. The folks in Miami were pretty blase about the everyday nature of thefts, and even referred us to a Dial-A-Robbery Report. I was devastated and shaken for the next 24 hours. My mom told me that it was similar to the way in which people felt who lost a box with old photographs. Maybe it will turn up. If anyone offers you a black Micron laptop for cheap dollars, give me a call. And, remember, back up that data!

2. Skills for On-Line Trainers Seminars Announced: The MASIE Center is pleased to announce 4 sessions of our new seminar: Skills for On-Line Trainers. These will be taught in Spring 1998 in Atlanta, New Orleans, San Francisco and Chicago. I will be leading this 2 day in person and 10 hours on-line, intensive learning event. We will explore and practice new skills for facilitating learning over networks. Remember, learning is not about which tool to choose or porting information to HTML. It is all about engaging learners! For information about these courses (with seats limited in each class) go to or call 800-98-MASIE.

3. Coopers & Lybrand Report on Skills Gap: Coopers & Lybrand's "Trendsetter Barometer" interviewed CEOs of 441 product and service companies identified in the media as the fastest growing U.S. businesses over the last five years. The surveyed companies range in size from approximately $1 million to $50 million in revenue/sales. Half of these CEOs say their companies are recognized as high tech firms.

America's fastest-growing companies have made education their business. Spurred by the worker shortage and IT upgrades, more than half have adopted new programs for retraining or redeploying current employees. These firms are also demanding solid educational credentials from new entry-level hires, including advanced skills in technology, mathematics and problem-solving, according to Coopers & Lybrand's latest "Trendsetter Barometer" survey.

"CEOs from 70 percent of 'Trendsetter' firms tell us they face serious problems finding skilled, experienced workers," says James Lafond, mid-atlantic cluster managing partner, Coopers & Lybrand L.L.P. "This is caused by their ambitious hiring plans, as CEOs strive to increase their collective workforce by 22.4 percent over the next 12 months. With qualified workers in short supply, more than half -- 52 percent -- of 'Trendsetter' CEOs have been upgrading and retraining their existing workforce in efforts to retain existing employees and increase productivity. "

The Complete report is available at:

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