significant amount of funds, based on a formula relating sales and number of employees, to the program. Every month the companies each receive a minimum of 50 hours of implementation assistance by graduate business and engineering students who are paired in teams to provide the assistance. These teams offer a balance of business practice and technology implementation skills to improve the performance of the participating manufacturers. In addition to classroom education and training, and student implementation assistance, each company receives consulting visits by faculty and other professionals. The projects undertaken by the graduate student assistance teams have concentrated on evaluation and analysis of production processes and accompanying management procedures, development of training programs for professional staff, and creation of strategic planning processes. These activities reflect the management emphasis of the program, rather than the traditional engineering type of problems undertaken by university technical assistance programs.


The Industrial Extension Service (IES) at the Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the oldest programs based on the concepts of industrial extension and technical assistance. Created by the Georgia Assembly in 1960, the IES evolved from several Georgia Tech-based, federal-and state-supported programs. Two such programs were the Engineering Experiment Station (today the Georgia Tech Research Institute) which focused its energies on industrial research projects and development of accompanying technologies, and the Industrial Development Branch which worked to attract industry to Georgia communities by matching the needs of target industries with the resources of specific industrial sites. The first IES field office was opened in 1961, and between 1964 and 1966 an additional six offices were established to bring the ''problem-solving skills of IES much closer to the communities and industries they served.'' Today, IES has a network of twelve field offices from which technical professionals provide industrial problem-solving skills to smaller firms, primarily rural based. In 1988 the industrial extension program provided nearly 1000 firm-specific assists, as well as providing support for community economic development and information requests. About 70 percent of the problems are solved directly by the field staff. For the rest, the field agents help the clients secure the proper expertise or assistance from Georgia Tech, the private

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