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67 - California Offers Less Formal Training to Employees Than National Counterparts; Letters from Alumni for Learner Motivation

1. Chicago Area Readers: Join Us at the Studio for TechLearn LIVE!: As we have mentioned previously, we are hosting a free satellite and internet broadcast on Thursday, September 10th. This will be originating in Chicago at the studios of WTTW - Channel 11 at 5400 North St. Louis Avenue. There are approximately 15 seats available in the studio audience. If you would like to attend, would you please send an email to and she will confirm if there is room left in the audience. Reminder, if you would like to view this over the internet just go to on 9/10/98 at 1 PM Eastern Time.

2. California Offers Less Formal Training to Employees Than National Counterparts: A UCLA study released Friday found that private employers in California offer less formal training to employees in basic skills, workplace-related skills and job skills than their national counterparts. Most notably, California establishments with more than 250 employees lag the national average in job skills training, which provides the most direct benefits to employers by improving productivity and earnings. California's dearth of job skills training affects all levels of employees, white or blue collar, with the latter receiving less training than the former.

Computer skills training, a natural outcropping in a state increasingly dependent on high-tech growth, is the one area in which California leads the nation, though not by as much as one would expect. California's mid-sized employers (50 to 249 employees) score high in training employees in computers usage, while the state's larger companies actually lag the nation by a small percentage.

Despite periodic employer complaints about the quality of the state's work force, basic skills training is offered by only 13 percent of larger California companies, compared with 19 percent nationally. More than 80 percent of California employers not offering basic skills training said they thought their employees had adequate basic skills.

3. net.learning PBS Show to Air: Check with your PBS local listings and look for a documentary entitled "net.learning", focusing on the increased role of the internet for the delivery of learning, training and knowledge. It will be playing in most regions in the next two weeks.

4. Letters from Alumni for Learner Motivation: When the motivation levels in a class are low, think about turning to the alumni for help. Over the years, I have often used alumni letters to future students as a part of the motivational strategy. It works this way: Ask a few alumni of a class to write a letter to future students. Wait for a month or so after the class and have them write a personal note to future students, detailing what they learned, how they applied it and restate the value proposition of the course. I have found that new learners appreciate hearing what alumni have to say. Often, even a negative can help build motivation. "I found the final lab exercise really tough, BUT it really paid off when I got back to my job."

5. TechLearn '98 Exploratorium Provides Non-Commercial Learning Time. One of the neat features of TechLearn '98 is the Exploratorium. Imagine a room with 200 PC's, all hooked up to a high speed network and running almost every learning technology package in the field. This is a non-commercial room, with no sales folks over your shoulder. Take the time to work with the latest in learning technology, both from a learner and a trainer perspective. Register for TechLearn '98 (November 15 to 18th in Orlando, FL) by going to Current registrations: 1,392 with a limited number of spaces available.

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