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New Office and Business Technologies: The Structure of Education and (Re)Training Opportunities BRYNA SHORE FRASER THE IMPORTANCE OF TRAINING FOR WOMEN Will the introduction of new technologies into a wide range of business and commercial settings enhance the skill and job op- portunities of those affected? Are existing education and training strategies adequate to help women workers take advantage of new opportunities, or will they only serve to maintain the existing opportunity structure? The introduction of new office and com- mercial technologies is of particular concern to working women, who, in 1983, accounted for 99 percent of all secretaries, 97 percent of typists, 92 percent of bookkeepers and bank tellers, 87 percent of cashiers, and 70 percent of retail clerks (Serrin, 1984:A3~. This paper seeks to determine how these types of jobs are being affected by new computer technologies, how workers are being trained or retrained in their use, and, wherever possible, how women's expe- riences differ from those of men in the use of the new technologies and in their access to training. Studies to date on the differing ejects of technological change on men and women are not encouraging. Data from the first national study of technological change show that proportionately 343

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344 NEW OFFICE AND BUSINESS TECHNOLOGIES more women than men operate machines, are more exposed to machines that have alienating effects, and suffer more from the negative effects of technological change. Relatively more men operate machines that require skill and encourage work autonomy. Moreover, the changes for men enhance their job skills and improve their opportunities for advancement. Not so for women (Form and McMilIan, 1983~. Gutek and Bikson (1984), in a study of 55 offices in 26 different private sector organizations, reported similar findings. Women used computers more than men and used them more routinely, while men's computer use was more flexible and autonomous. The authors concluded that "nothing in our data suggests that these 55 offices will use technological innovation as an occasion for improving the situation of working women" (p. 16~. A recent survey of 300 senior human resource executives in Fortune 1500 firms found that 44 percent of the companies are most likely to hire new employees with required skills rather than retrain workers whose skills have become obsolete. Two other frequently used options, cited by 40 percent of the companies, are (1) switching employees into new positions that require no additional skills and (2) reducing the number of employees. On a more hopeful note, the report states that a shrinking work force may make it more difficult for companies to rely on new workers and may make worker retraining a more attractive long- term solution (ITT Educational Services, 1984~. Some companies do retrain their employees. IBM, for example, supports a policy of full employment, meaning that employees should not lose their jobs due to advancing technologies, among other circumstances. The company maintains no records on the amount of retraining given each year "because it is business as usual to move people from one job to a totally different job" (IBM Corporation, 1985: 13~. The most sophisticated- as well as the simplest equipment will not increase productivity unless those using it have the knowI- edge and motivation to make it work. Recent studies show that the prospect of working with new technology is welcomed by most people when it is first suggested. One recent survey of more than 500 secretaries and administrative assistants found that "office au- tomation has been accepted with open arms" (GalIant, 1984:24~. On a scale of emotional responses ranging from love to hate, 83 percent of the respondents said they loved the word-processing equipment, while none expressed any hatred of the equipment.

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BRYNA SHORE FRASER 345 Eighty-seven percent said they felt that their word-processing skills would lead to new career opportunities, while 88 percent expressed the belief that these skills would result in salary increases. But the same survey revealed some troubling disparities be- tween respondents' beliefs and the reality of their situations. Only 30 percent had actually received pay raises as a result of acquiring word-processing skills, and while 75 percent said that the equip- ment freed them from typing chores and allowed them more time for work involving decision making, when asked what new respon- sibilities the electronic equipment had allowed them to undertake, almost all cited traditional secretarial tasks such as drafting letters and researching reports. The survey pointed to the importance of age as a factor. Forty-eight percent of the respondents under age 25 reported pay raises resulting from word-processing skills, compared with much Tower figures among older secretaries. The younger secretaries said their knowledge of word processing was more important than such customary skills as shorthand, while the older secretaries placed more value on traditional abilities. In addition, almost a third of the respondents under age 25 had already had training in either COBOL or BASIC programming, compared with a very small per- centage of the older respondents. In another survey of more than 1,200 secretaries and 900 managers in 443 information-intensive businesses, younger secretaries were also found to view automated equipment more favorably than their older counterparts. In this survey secretaries in particular cited training as the single most important change needed when introducing automation into the workplace. The most frequent suggestion made for improving pro- ductivity in businesses where automation already existed was more and better training (Keefe, 1984:233. As new technology is introduced into more and more work environments, changes will be needed in work skills and patterns. Changed tasks, roles, and machine pacing must be learned. For example, a secretary who moves from a typewriter to a word processor has to learn to increase concentration on work (due to the machine's sensitivity); hand-eye coordination (clue to the speed of the information flow); and ability to respond to signs rather than complete symbols (due to the shorthand language of the computer). All of this learning depends, in turn, on mental flexibility. Even under the best working conditions, it is difficult for workers to learn so many new skills well, and all at once. Adults

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346 NEW OFFICE AND B USINESS TECHNOLOGIES often cite a variety of reasons, however, for not participating in (restraining and education programs that would help them learn new skills. These barriers can be categorized as follows (Charner, 1980; Charner and Fraser, 1984~. Situational factors arise out of an individual's position in a family, workplace, or social group at a given time. Within this category, costs, lack of time, age, Ed level of education head the list. Social/psychologicalfactors are related to an individual's atti- tudes and selperceptions or to the influence of significant others (family, friends, etc.) on the actions of an individual. Included are lack of confidence in ability, feeling of being too old, lack of interest, and lack of support from family or friends. Only small proportions of adults report such factors as barriers to their partic- ipation in education or training activities. Women more frequently than men report that they feel they are too old to begin. Men, on the other hand, cite lack of confidence in ability more than women. Structural factors are policies and practices of organizations that overtly or subtly exclude or discourage adults from participat- ing in (restraining and education activities and include scheduling problems (course and work); location and transportation prob- lems; lack of courses or relevancy of courses; procedural problems (red tape, credit, admission, required full-time attendance); and information/counseling problems. These factors fall between sit- uational and social/psychological barriers in the proportion of adults reporting such factors as deterring their participation. Lo- cation, scheduling, and lack of courses are most often mentioned as barriers, with few differences among subgroups of adults. Given the general barriers confronting adults participating in any (re~training/education program, how does a clerical worker, secretary, telephone operator, or any of the millions of workers in service and retail occupations go about getting trained in up-to- date technological skills for office and commercial settings? The next three sections briefly describe a variety of programs currently provided by employers, educational institutions, and government agencies that can be used by women workers. A final section outlines education and training policies that, if adopted, would contribute to a smooth transition for women workers from the old work environment to the new. One of the most impor- tant policy areas discussed is the need for more information. In- deed, the following description of available programs suffers from

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BRYNA SNORE FRASER 347 a lack of published information. Not only do we not know how many programs are available to which workers, we also know little about their effectiveness. Careful review of the latest journals, newsletters, and publications dealing with the retail trades, office automation, computer technology, management, and training and development yielded little in the way of gender-specific examples of training in new office and business technology for this population. Furthermore, most companies are reluctant to provide detailed descriptions of company-specific training courses, and while al- most all organizations with 500 employees or more have at least one full-t~me person responsible for training activities, many office and commercial enterprises employ less than 100 employees and have no one in-house with even part-time training responsibili- ties. Therefore, much of the program-specific information related below has been based on the limited published material available or on anecdotal information provided by researchers or program sponsors. EMPLOYER-PROVIDED EDUCATION AND (RE)TRAINING PROGRAMS Employer-provided training includes a wide variety of pro- grams that are either provided or sponsored by an employer. Al- though private and public employers provide the lion's share of training in the United States, spending $30 billion annually accord- ing to the American Society for Training and Development (more than three times the amount spent by federal, state, and local governments combined), most of these programs are concentrated in only 20~300 of the largest companies. Furthermore, businesses are spending more and more money on remedial math and reading instruction rather than on focused skill training (Business-Higher Education Forum, 1984:30~. A substantial portion of corporate training is generally geared to respond to changes in a company's technology, organization, or products. In the case of technological innovation, for example, manufacturers of office computer equipment usually provide train- ing for employees of companies buying their equipment. There are- no statistics on the volume of this training, but prevailing wisdom suggests that this is a major mode of training, if not the most important one.

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348 NEW OFFICE AND B USINESS TECHNOLOGIES Subjects in which training is provided include the operation of computers of various sizes with aIready-prepared programs, pro- gramming, maintenance and repair, systems management, other management problems associated with computers, communica- tions systems, and operation and programming of computer-as- sisted design or manufacturing equipment. The courses are typically brief, lasting from 1 to 5 days, al- though some courses go on for several weeks. They tend to be quite specific, focusing on a single mode! of equipment, use of a single program, teaching a single programming language, and so on. Thus, an employee wishing to advance beyond this level may need to take additional courses to round out the skills acquired. Moreover, since the technology is changing rapidly, the employee mar need retraining ~ order to learn new eauinment. O_1~ _~__ 1_ ~ ~ ~ ~ .. . ~elt-stuay IS used extensively. textbooks, programmed learn- ing books, and computer-based training programs are available for many of the subjects. A growing proportion of this material is being produced in the form of video cassettes, computerized instruction, satellite-transmitted teleconferences, and other ways of allowing the necessary training to take place in many locations and at flexible times. At the same time there continues to be much use of traditional printed manuals. Only rarely, however, is this material geared to the needs of a particular group. Employer-provided/sponsored training generally falls into one of four categories: (~) in-house programs, (2) contracts with a postsecondary educational institution, (3) tuition assistance pro- grams, and (4) union-negotiated (restraining programs. Various anecdotal examples of each type of program are presented below. IN-HOUSE PROGRAMS In-house training programs are usually delivered by company staff, frequently by a part- or full-time trainer. Employers either develop their own training curricula or buy/lease prepackaged training programs. A third option is to bring in outside consultants to design and/or deliver training courses at the worksite. A good example of an employer-designed and delivered pro- gram is provided by the Intel Corporation, a manufacturer of inte- grated circuits, which recently installed 65 personal computers in its microprocessor division over a 6-month period (Johnson, 1985~.

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BRYNA SNORE FRASER 349 Implementation activities focused on three efforts: the Continu- ous Learning Center (CEC), the Office Systems Center (OSC), and twice-monthly meetings for all the microprocessor division secretaries. The CEC was designed as a place where people would both learn how to use the PC and bring their new applications for others to learn. The OSC provided "hot line" help for anyone who needed immediate assistance with either the hardware or the software. Currently, the OSC's primary activities are training and software applications and evaluation. To evaluate the success of the implementation process, In- te! used as a control group secretaries who had been given the same PCs but who had received a more conventional 8 hours of training from in-house word-processing instructors. Based on the self-reports of 20 microprocessor division secretaries and 9 control group secretaries, 52 percent of the former reported an increase in productivity compared with 15 percent of the controls; 80 percent of the first group reported new procedures developed compared with 10 percent of the control group; and 70 percent of the m~cro- processor division secretaries reported new uses in place compared with 20 percent of the control group secretaries. In addition, the secretaries in the first group had freed up 2 hours a day they had previously spent in typing revisions. They were using this time to (1) support more people; (2) provide better support for their managers (e.g., drafting routine reports previously done by their managers); (3) eliminate the need for temporaries; and (4) de- velop more PC skills they now have time to spend in the CEC, as they are completing their other work in half the time it used to take. These secretaries have become a creative source of new applications and have been rewarded by their managers for their creativity. They have also gained new respect within the com- pany for their use of PCs as information tools. Further follow-up of these different training approaches by Intel could assess the longer-range career impacts of each approach to PC training for secretaries. United Virginia Bank, which purchased a computer-based training program designed to increase the effectiveness of its teller training efforts, provides an example of employer delivery of a pur- chased program. The bank determined that a generic computer training program could be purchased from a local vendor at much less cost than developing an interactive videotape system in-house.

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350 NEW OFFICE AND BUSINESS TECHNOLOGIES The purchased program consisted of 22 lessons, supporting texts, and other materials. Each year, more than 100 tellers in the Richmond region, the vast majority of whom are women, attend the bank's 4-week teller course. The trainees in each class spend the first 4 days of their training on the terminals. The program presents lessons and asks the students relevant questions. It also tells them whether they have answered correctly. Students move at their own pace. The instructor is free to help students who require one-on-one assis- tance; meanwhile, the rest of the class members stay busy at their terminals. Trainees say they enjoy learning from a computer and they now score higher on final tests 90 percent or more and are being taught 15 percent more than with traditional methods. The program also shaves 1 day from classroom work. Overall, United Virginia Bank views its experience with computer-based training very positively, and the bank intends to continue to experiment with the concept and expand the program (Coleman, 1983~. With the help of outside consultants, Metropolitan Life Insur- ance Company developed a program to train 20,000 employees at 1,250 sites to use the company's recently acquired minicomputer- based network. Metropolitan is spending more than $30 million for the network hardware and approximately $3 million for the training program. Applications of the system include data entry and editing, a client data base specific to each sales office, word processing, electronic mail, and policy and contract illustrations. Almost all Metropolitan employees will be users of the system. Metropolitan's training plan was developed with the help of an outside consulting firm. Called a "top-down" training program, it resembles an inverted pyramid in structure. Senior executives in the personal insurance field were trained first, senior sales staff were trained second, and key people in eight regional head offices were trained next. Each regional office became home to a nucleus of six to eight trainers. Next in line were the uncritical users" sales managers and office managers in 1,100 U.S. sales outlets. These users traveled to the company's eight regional head offices for training. When the sales and office managers were trained, they became responsible for training sales office staff. The training emphasized hands-on experience, with 20 percent of the time spent in lectures and the rest of the time spent actively using the system (Desmond, 1984~.

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BRYNA SHORE FRASER 351 Outside consultants can also be used to deliver complete train- ing programs. ITT Educational Services, Inc., Business Division, offers employers complete training programs (including provision of facilities) in such areas as automation, bank teller, computer programming, data processing, electronic office-machine technol- ogy, keypunch operator, retail technical sales, secretarial, telecom- munications, and word processing. In addition to generic or custom-designed training programs, ITT offers to take care of Al arrangements, including site selection, employee recruitment, student enrollment, assessment, basic/remedial education, English as a second language, skill training, career counseling, and support service coordination. ITT also offers more advanced training be- yond the initial level for supervisory personnel, as well as courses that provide part of the training at the trainee's workstation on the job. CONTRACTS WITH POSTSECONDARY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS Many employers, particularly those smaller businesses that do not have an in-house training capability of their own, are contract- ing with postsecondary educational institutions for both custom- designed and generic training programs. A growing number of collegesmainly 2-year community colleges have established of- fices or centers to offer the colleges' educational services, resources, and facilities to local business and industry, although, overall, in- stitutions of higher education provide only a small amount of employer-sponsored education and training. The majority of con- tracted programs involve a small number of employees and are of short duration, ranging from a 1-hour seminar to a full-semester course. These programs may be standard courses identified in the college catalog that are presented at times and locations conve- nient to the firm and in time blocks appropriate to circumstances; they may be customized versions of standard college offerings; or they may be totally new programs, structured to meet the specific demands of the company. They may be taught by college faculty or by instructors hired specifically for the course. The Vermont State Colleges Office of External Programs (OEP), for example, assists employers, particularly in small busi- nesses, to identify their education and training needs. Through its

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352 NEW OFFICE AND BUSINESS TECHNOLOGIES Educational Brokering Service, OEP communicates these employ- ers' needs and specifications to more than 30 educational institu- tions in the state. Interested schools then bid on providing the training services, with the employers making the final selection of the desired program provider. TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS A very high proportion of companies, particularly the larger ones, have some form of tuition aid or tuition assistance programs under which employees receive partial or full reimbursement of the costs incurred for courses taken on their own. Generally, these programs have a very low participation rate, particularly among lower-level, nonmanagement employees. Unlike most programs, the Polaroid Corporation's Tuition As- sistance Plan has a very high rate of participation, even among hourly employees. Polaroid has developed a systematic and com- prehensive series of courses and programs for its employees which includes internal education and skills training programs; technol- ogy-based programs and seminars for technical and nontechni- cal personnel; and career counseling workshops to help employees determine career goals and methods for achieving them. The Tuition Assistance Plan prepays 100 percent of the costs of approved educational programs successfully completed by em- ployees both hourly and salaried, with all those working 20 or more hours per week eligible to participate in the plan on a pro- rated basis (30 hours equals 75 percent payment). Acceptable courses and programs include Any basic course in reading, writing, or arithmetic ~ Courses or programs that will improve the employee's skill on his or her present job Courses or programs that relate to the next job in the employee's job family Courses or programs required or relevant to a trade or craft licensing or certification program appropriate to the indi- vidual's career and specific to Polaroid's need for the trade- or craft-specific degree programs (associate, bachelor's, and gradu- ate degrees). All engineering, science, mathematics, accounting, finance, and secretarial programs. All general business manage- ment, marketing, transportation, economics, journalism, nursing, and criminal justice programs, if currently job related.

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BRYNA SHORE FRASER 353 According to company figures, about 6,000 (50 percent) of its domestic employees participated in an average of 1.5 internal or external education and training programs in a recent year. Ten percent of the eligible domestic work force participated in the Tuition Assistance Plan, and of these, 40 percent were from the hourly ranks (Knox, 1979~. UNION- NEGOTIATED ~ RE) TRAINING PROGRAMS Unions are very active in the support of training and retrain- ing for their members. A number of union-negotiated agreements call for advance notification of expected technological changes and the retraining of those workers who would be displaced. A recent example is the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Na- tional Training Fund, under the retraining provisions negotiates] with the seven regional Bell System holding companies. A provi- sion in the agreement stipulates that retraining will be provided for any worker who needs or desires it. Local committees have been established in each of the seven regions and are responsible for the development of appropriate programs in response to local membership needs. CWA Local 8519 has developed, through its Arizona Training Fund (ATF), a 600-hour, 15-course curriculum leading to a Level ~ certification in telecommunications. Interested CWA members can enroll in courses ranging from Basic Circuit Reading to Digital Electronics as well as an elective computer literacy course. All courses are fully accredited, and tuition costs are reimbursed by Mountain Bell and AT&T. Of the 316 CWA members who have taken one or more ATF courses, about 55 percent are female. Thus far, no one has failed, but 26 persons have dropped out with an additional 9 incompletes, resulting in an overall retention rate of nearly 90 percent. The ATF training program- is aimed at developing "broad, generic skills that will be useful to CWA members inside or outside the Bell system" (Hilton, 1984:43. As a result of their participation in the program, many CWA members have been promoted, while others, threatened with job Toss, have found new jobs outside the Bell companies. Only a very small number of workers in offices and businesses belong to a union. The majority of employees in these work settings are dependent on employer-provided (restraining or must look to other sources of education and training for programs.

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362 NEW OFFICE AND BUSINESS TECHNOLOGIES of the dislocated worker. Most recently, federal programs for unemployed and disadvantaged workers have included the Com- prehensive Employment and Paining Act of 1973 (CETA) and its successor, the Job Training Partnership Act (]TPA); the Work Incentive (WIN) program; and the Bade Act of 1974. The types of training provided through these programs include machine tool, welding, secretarial, electronics, clerical, and nursing (I`PN). The CETA program, which focused mainly on disadvantaged workers, relied increasingly during its life span on public sector employ- ment as its chief mechanism, with training accounting for only one-quarter of program expenditures by the end of the 1970s. De- spite the negative image often associated with CETA, it was found that the program helped raise earnings substantially for women and male workers with little or no recent work experience (U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, 1986:170~. The current Job Paining Partnership Act (lTPA) is expected to produce 800,000 to 1,000,000 trainees in fiscal year 1984 at a cost of $3.5 billion. The bulk of this money was to support the training of disadvantaged youth in marketable skills. In FY 1983, about $215 million was allocated under Title lIT for the retraining of adult workers who lost their jobs in heavy industry because of automation or the 1981-1982 recession. The program emphasizes training in fields where job openings are increasing, i.e., the service industries: health care, food services, clerical work, and computer sciences. According to the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), only 4 percent of eligible displaced workers are estimated to have participated in Title ITI programs in 1983, the majority of whom were white males (U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, 1986:174~. In addition, OTA expresses concern over whether displaced workers in these programs are getting enough chances at training for new skills and occupations. Some critics, moreover, believe that trainees, particularly women, are being shortchanged because the program emphasizes short- term training for low-level jobs that could be obtained without the training (Johnson, 1984:9~. For eligible workers (those losing jobs due to foreign compe- tition), the liade Act of 1974 provides some important benefits not available under Title ITI of JTPA: support payments for work- ers in training and generous relocation assistance. The numbers served, however, are very small and are decreasing; in 1984, only 6,538 workers entered training under the program, compared with

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BRYNA SHORE FRASER 363 20,386 in 1981 (U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, 1986:197~. The Work Incentive (WIN) program provides training and employment services for Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC) participants, 90 percent of whom are women. In FY 1985, approximately 350,000 WIN participants found employment, generally entry-level positions in maintenance/clerical fields, park service, and human services. In keeping with the aims of the WIN program (to help participants lessen their dependence on welfare), the bulk of the training provided focuses on remedial education, job search techniques, and basic occupational skills, with little emphasis on higher-skilled technology training (Employment and Training Reporter, 1986:647~. Since 1980, and particularly under lTPA, local partnership programs have been preferred as both the locus of responsibility and service deliverer for federally funded training programs. These partnerships take a variety of forms but, in almost every case, al- ways include the involvement of one or more major employerts) in the community. The presence of the employer is designed to assure that training programs are up-to-date and provide training in skills needed for current or projected jobs in local industry and businesses. The programs described below are typical of the col- laborative efforts focusing on the provision of technology training at the state and local levels. Word Processing Training Centers are currently operating in 32 cities across the country. These centers are run by local community-based organizations in partnership with the IBM Cor- poration, with additional funding from the Job Training Partner- ship Act. Training in word processing, computer operation, and computer programming is provided to some 3,000 individuals an- nually, most of whom are women in their late twenties and thirties, although ages range from 18 to 55. The training is done on up-to- date equipment provided and updated periodically by IBM, which also provides loaned staff to the centers for the first 3 years of operation, at which time centers are expected to be self-sufficient, although IBM continues to donate and upgrade equipment. One specific example, the Washington, D.C., Word Process- ing Center, is operated by the Washington Urban League and serves three main categories of workers: women returning to the work force, workers whose jobs have been terminated, and public

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364 NE W OFFI CE A ND B USINESS TECHNOl O GIES assistance recipients. Ninety-eight percent of the program partic- ipants are female. The training course, which is promoted heavily through local advertising, lasts for 26 weeks and consists of 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. While no stipend is offered to trainees, they do receive $35 a week to cover transportation, and other support services, including counseling, are provided. The center trained 153 word processors in 1983, over 85 percent of whom were placed in jobs with an average starting salary of $13,400. In a follow-up of trainees placed during the center's first 3 years of operation, 75 percent had been retained by their employers, and several of the trainees had moved up to become administrative assistants or managers. Its operators are convinced that the program offers par- ticipants not just entry-level skills but also the skills needed to gain upward mobility within the employing organization. Twenty-three new centers were added to the national program in the summer of 1985. A state-funded cooperative effort, the Bay State Skills Corpo- ration (BSSC) was created by the Massachusetts state legislature in 1981 to act as a catalyst in forming partnerships between busi- nesses and educational institutions to train workers in skills needed by growing industries in the state. BSSC provides grants to public or nonprofit education and training institutions, which link up with one or more growing companies to train workers for specific jobs. Participating companies are required to match the grant with contributions of equipment, materials, staff time, or cash. The training can take place at community colleges, vocational schools, Year colleges, universities, and community-based em- ployment and training organizations throughout the state. The training is not restricted to unemployed or poor individuals. Be- cause employers' major criteria are the need for skilled workers, BSSC's primary focus is on training people for jobs, regardless of their economic status. The programs cover a variety of training levels, including entry-level training, employee upgrading, retrain- ing, and advanced (college- and university-level) programs and run from 20 weeks to 20 months. Training is provided in a wide va- riety of new and emerging occupations, such as nuclear medicine technology, computer-aided design/computer-aided manufactur- ing, plastics technology, and advanced automation and robotics, in addition to the more traditional occupations of the machine trades, licensed practical nursing, and junior accounting.

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BRYNA SHORE FRASER 365 To date, BSSC has served approximately 1,500 adults in its training programs. Women tend to predominate in the technician- level training courses and are currently underrepresented in the higher-skiDed programs, such as robotics and manufacturing engi- neering. Several m-level programs have been targeted for women and minorities and have been successful in moving them into jobs as technical writers and computerized materials managers (at an- nual salaries averaging between $15,000 and $25,000~. In addi- tion, BSSC has contracted with the Women's Technical Institute of Boston to provide training for women in higher-level electronics jobs and with Northeastern University to provide programs for women in engineering and in information systems. IN SEARCH OF TECHNOLOGICAL TRAINING EQUITY Probably the most typical technology training for women workers today Is several hours of instruction in word process- ing, provided by the employer to meet its immediate needs. A few of the innovative technology training programs described in the preceding sections offer some hope that attention is beginning to be paid to the broader needs of women for training and retraining in new office and business technologies. A wide variety of educa- tional and training programs is available, but very few focus on training for higher-skilled, higher-level positions in emerging occu- pations. Nor is training being designed to meet the differing needs of women at varying stages over the life span. Very few programs appear to differentiate between the training needs of women and men. Counseling and career development are included in only a few programs. It is possible, perhaps, that this review does not reflect the bulk of what is currently happening in individual programs, but it is unlikely that a significant number of programs are operating in relative obscurity. The limited information available and the growing concern over women's role in the Office of the Future" lead us to a discussion of appropriate research and actions to better meet the technological training and educational needs of women.

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366 NEW OFFICE AND BUSINESS TECHNOLOGIES INFORMATION GAPS There is an imperative need for better and more comorehen- sive information on education and training for occupations and jobs affected by the new office and business technologies. Stud- ies such as the National Commission for Employment Policy's project, "Technological Change and Employment: The Effects of Computer-Based Equipment," are beginning to fill some of the information gaps, but currently there does not exist a single data base that examines the complete system of training opportunity in the United States. Within this larger category, specific data are needed on the structure of (restraining opportunities for women and men in terms of the providers of (restraining services; the need for (restraining in terms of changing occupational skill re- quirements due to technology; and the demand for technology (restraining by individuals and employers. Specifically, an inventory of technology training programs needs to be developed, particularly for service and information occupations. Such an inventory should provide a history of pro- grams (goals, objectives, population served, and outcomes) as well as descriptions of training and services offered and instructional approaches. Complementing the inventory, additional information could be obtained through a longitudinal data collection com- ponent that would emphasize patterns of occupational mobility, attitudinal and behavioral changes, and patterns of technology education and training for women and men at different stages of their life spans. Analysis of such longitudinal data could track patterns of participation; assess the short-term and long-term na- ture of barriers to participation for population subgroups; measure the impacts of different education and training experiences on job mobility, attitudes, and behaviors; and assess the impacts of in- stitutional initiatives aimed at increasing the technology training opportunities for women. This information could be collected on a regular basis by the federal government, perhaps as part of the National Center for Education Statistics' survey of participation in adult education. A parallel information collection effort would focus on a series of case studies of a selected number of technology training pro- grams in service and information occupations designed to train women for middie-leve] and higher skilled positions in these indus- tries. These case studies could help identify specific components

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BRYNA SHORE FRASER 367 that best serve the needs of or eliminate the barriers for different groups of women in obtaining the skills required for the higher tier of jobs within those occupations affected by new technology. One approach to conducting these case studies might be to build on the groundwork laid by the authors of In Search of Excel- lence (Peters and Waterman, 1984~. The majority of companies identified as "excellent" were in the service, information, and high- technology sectors and were judged to be far above the norm in the amount of time they spent on training activities. Although system- atic data on training were not collected and no mention was made of these companies' policies with regard to women specifically, several of the companies have reputations for being particularly responsive to the education and training needs of their office work- ers. It would be worthwhile to examine more closely some of these companies' policies and programs relating to the introduction of new technology into the workplace. Case studies should also be conducted of programs offered by educational institutions and by other public and private training providers, particularly those developed by groups with a long-term interest in the technological preparation of women for occupations, such as those operated by unions and community service organi- zations. Dissemination of the information resulting from the case stud- ies as well as from the inventory and the longitudinal study should not be limited to researchers and government policy makers. A central clearinghouse with direct access to employers and educa- tors is essential to the implementation of any recommendations arising from the information collection efforts. One possible site for such a clearinghouse might be the recently established Center for Education and Employment, operated by Teachers College, Columbia University, whose mission is to explore education and training alternatives that contribute to lifelong learning and re- training for both personal development and effective instruction. EDUCATION POLICY Beyond the collection of more and better-quality information on training for new technologies, special attention must be paid to what is (and is not) currently happening at the various levels of education today, with particular concern focused on long-range

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368 NEW OFFICE AND BUSINESS TECHNOLOGIES occupational and career impacts relating to women and technol- ogy. Early emphasis at the elementary and secondary school lev- els must be placed on access to math and science skills for girls, so that more options will be open to women on completion of secondary schooling for training in higher-level scientific and tech- nical occupational skills. This is true for all students, not simply those traditionally college-bound. Such education is increasingly a prerequisite for those wishing to enter 2-year technology training programs without first having to participate in remedial courses. Currently, too many options for advanced technology training appear to be closed to women due to the lack of an adequate background in science and related fields. Vocational education is often criticized for perpetuating sexual segregation in training offered to students at-the secondary level. GirIs are still being tracked, for the most part, into clerical and secretarial courses, while boys are encouraged to enter the more technical training programs. frequently, critics charge, even the technical courses lag behind economic realities, teaching skills that are no longer in demand on equipment that is already obsolete for jobs that are being eliminated. Clearly, the role of vocational education in preparing women and men for emerging technological occupations needs to be reassessed and perhaps restructured. As far as postsecondary education is concerned, reference was made earlier to higher education's "prejudice" against the adult learner. In an age when there is an expanding need for the retrain- ing of adults and a dwindling number of traditional young stu- dents, colleges and universities must start rethinking their policies regarding the education and training required for an increasingly knowledge-intensive, service-oriented economy. This rethinking process has already begun at some institutions, as evidenced by several of the innovative programs referenced earlier in this paper. It should be noted, however, that most of these programs oper- ate on the fringes of the sponsoring educational institutions and are generally not held in the same regard as the more traditional mainstream offerings. Community and junior colleges have historically been respon- sive to local economic conditions and the training needs of area employers. In 1978, 2-year colleges became the course providers most frequently cited by adult education participants. Reflecting their concern for the learning and training needs of adult workers

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BRYNA SHORE FRASER . 369 In their communities, these schools offer a wide variety of occupa- tional programs. Information is lacking, however, on the level of technological skills offered in many of these programs and on how course completers fare in the job market and in their career devel- opment. Concern has been expressed by some that the focus on narrow job-specific training may limit the general employability of program participants and may ultimately reduce the adaptability of the work force. The inventory of technology training programs recommended earlier would contribute much-needed information on these issues. Educational institutions at all levels would do well to rethink their missions in terms of changing demographic, economic, and technological factors. Training and retraining will become ever more important as new skills are needed by workers over their life span. Educators should begin thinking in proactive terms, anticipating changing educational demands, rather than simply reacting to crisis situations related to the immediate needs of the moment. EMPLOYER REsPoNsIBlLITIEs Perhaps, as Lewis Perelman suggests in his recent book, it is time for employers, managers, and workers to "rethink the social contract surrounding the human capital they employ" (Perelman, 1984:58~. In 1982, for example, companies invested an average of $3,600 per worker in new facilities and equipment, much of which was probably linked to the introduction of new technologies. Yet these same companies invested an average of just $300 per worker for training. Research from In Search of Excellence indicates that all of the "excellent" companies treat their people (they are not thought of simply as workers) as the primary source of productivity gainsnot capital spending or automation. The most pervasive theme in these companies is "respect for the individual." The common practice among most companies of letting employees leave rather than retrain them for new technology reflects little of such respect. Unfortunately, existing federal policies tend to favor physical capital over human capital development (witness many of the tax provisions), and the current climate is unlikely to favor additional drains on the treasury. Therefore, traditional recommendations, such as offering federal tax incentives to encourage employers to

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370 NE W OFFICE AND B USINESS TECHNOLOGIES establish or enhance in-house technical training, are highly unlikely to be implemented at this time. How then might employers be encouraged to allocate more resources to (restraining office workers to allow them to benefit from opportunities generated by new technologies? Perhaps changing demographic and economic factors will force employers to reverse their underinvestment in training for this population. As the supply of entry-level workers declines, women and minority workers, in whom human capital investments have been least, will comprise a greater share of available workers. This reality may require that employers invest more heavily in training to provide themselves with the skilled employees that they need. Particular attention will have to be paid to the retraining needs of employed workers whose skills no Ton ger match the needs of their employers, as well as the basic skill needs of workers entering the labor market. A CONTINUING EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM If such demographic and economic conditions do not bring employers to invest more resources in industry-provided training, then, once again, the responsibility will revert to the educational system. As Noyelle, Perelman, and others have suggested re- cently, we may be moving toward a "truly continuing educational system one that is more equitable, more flexible, better adapted to shorter term passages, more ubiquitous, and perhaps less spe- cialized in orientation than it has traditionally been" (Noyelle, 1984:39~. For the educational system to be responsive to the needs of adults, particularly women, preparing for new office and business technologies, it must look beyond its traditional role of education of youth toward its emerging role in training adults. The educa- tional system must be responsive to the diverse needs of a diverse society, but education and training providers cannot work alone; they must work collaboratively with business, labor, government, and other educational organizations. Such collaborative efforts are important because few technolo- gies have expanded as rapidly as the computer or penetrated so many sectors of the economy so quickly. Twelve to 15 million workers (one out of every eight employed Americans) currently

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BRYNA SHORE FRASER 371 use computers in their jobs. More than 2 million business com- puters were sold in 1984 alone, added to the 7.5 million already in the workplace. This has resulted in a formidable training task, involving workers currently on the job as well as young and older would-be workers. It is critical that this process ensure the eq- uitable availability of training in new technologies for all current and future members of the work force. REFERENCES Anderson, R.E., E.S. Kasl, & Associates 1982 The Coat and Financier of Adult Education and lFairung. Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books. Barton, P., and the National Institute for Work and Learning 1982 Worklife lFar~itione. New York: McGraw-Hill. Business-Higher Education Forum 1984 The New Manufacturirl9: America's Race to Automate. Washington, D.C.: Business-Higher Education Forum. Charner, I. 1980 Patterns of Adult Participation in Learning Activities. Washington, D.C.: National Institute for Work and Learning. Charner, I., and B.S. Fraser 1984 Different Strokes for Different Folks: Access and Barriers to Adult Educa- tion and Ikainir~g. Washington, D .C.: National Institute for Work and Learning. Coleman, J.S. 1983 Virginia bank says micro teller training works. ABA Barr Journal (June) :58. Computerworld 1984 Library's computer course swamped with registrants. Computer- world (March 26~:34. Desmond, J. 1984 Insurer's network training program works from top down. Comp?~t- crworld (August 6~:8. Employment and lFair~ir~g Reporter 1986 Education and Labor Committee calls for fewer program cuts than Reagan budget. Employment; arid lkairung Reporter (February 26):646-647. Form, W., and D. McMillan 1983 Women, men, and machines. Work and Occupations 10~2~:147-178. Gallant, J. 1984 Survey reveals OA accepted with open arms. Computerworld (March 5~:24. Goldstein, H. 1984 Institutional Sources of Education and Training in the Adult Years. Unpublished paper. Gutek, B., and T. Bikson 1984 Differential Experiences of Men and Women in Computerized Of- fices. Unpublished paper.

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372 NE W OFFICE AND B USINESS TECHNOLOGIES Hilton, M. 1984 CWA Training: Local Success Stories. Unpublished paper. Com- munications Workers of America, Washington, D.C. IBM Corporation 1985 IBM Education: Notes for the Presentation. Unpublished paper. Armonk, New York. ITT Educational Services 1984 America at Boric. Thc Management Pcrspectivc on Paining for Business. Washington, D.C.: ITT Educational Servicer. Johnson, B. 1985 Organizational Design of Word Processing from Typewriter to In- tegrated Office Systems. Paper presented at American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Office Automation Conference, Atlanta, Ga. Johnson, S. 1984 Retraining's come a long way, baby. The New York Times (October 14), Section 12:9. Kaercher, D. 1983 Trade school: ticket to a better job? Better Homes and Gardens (November) :57-62. Keefe, P. 1984 Three unresolved issues identified for OA users. Comp~cterworld (March 26~:23. Knox, K. 1979 Polaroid Corporation' Edition As~istanec Plan: A Case Study. Wash- ington, D.C.: National Manpower Institute. National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education 1979 Survey of Participation in Adult Education, 1978. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 1983 Digest of Education Statistics 1985-84. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Gov- ernment Printing Office. Noyelle, T. 1984 Work in a World of High Technology: Problems and Prospects for Econom, ically Disadvar~taged Workers. Knoxville: University of Tennessee. Perelman, L. 1984 Thc Learning Enterprise: Adult Learning, Human Capital, and Eco- nomic Dc?'clopmc~. Washington, D.C.: Council of State Planning Agencies. Peters, T.J., and R.H. Waterman, Jr. 1984 In Search of Excellence: Lessons From Amcnca'~ Best-Run Companies. New York: Warner Books. Serrin, W. 1984 Experts say job bias against women persists. The New York Times (November 25~:A1, A3. U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment 1986 Technology and Structural ~~ Washington, D.C.: U.S. Unemployment: Reemploying Displaced Adults. Government Printing Office.