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August 21, 1987 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-08-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I CLOSE-UP

Technocrats
For The
Future

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Farmington Hills firm has combined
with ORT to bring American
workers into the computer age

ROBYN KLEEREKOPER

Special to The Jewish News

Trainer Dan Behrendt, right, and an assistant prepare to program the basic training robot at
--
the Advanced Center for Technology Training.

obots, sensors,
fiber optics, computer-integrated
systems, interfacing, simulators,
payload capabilities . . . language
that can put fear into the heart of the
ordinary person. A whole new
technology is making an impact on
our daily lives, yet is still . viewed as
science fiction by many.
That science fiction has become a
reality. Robots and automation have
long since entered many facets of
manufacturing and institutional
enterprise, from state-of-the-art
machines that paint car exteriors and
weld hundreds of metal suctions per
hour, to food-carrying carts moving
themselves down 'hospital corridors,
sensing obstacles in their way. Corn-
puters are no longer a simple
keyboard that can . write sentences,
sort columns- and retain countless
pieces of information. They have
become vital, functipning machines
that work alongside a good percen-
tage of the world's Work force.
It is with this in mind that a new
program is being launched in the
United States this fall under the
auspices of the World ORT Union
(Organization for Rehabilitation
through Training). Called The Ad-
vanced Center for Technology Train-

24

FRIDAY, AUG. 21, 1987

ing, (ACTT), it aims to make workers tries, such as Sweden, Switzerland
adaptable to using different kinds of and France."
Lutz Associates successfully
technology, not just teaching them
how to use specific machines. With a negotiated the rights to this training
Detroit-based company's input, ACTT in North America. "This was a major
will retrain workers to be literate in consideration for ORT," Lutz says,
robotics, computers and other "because we'd never done business
with individuals before. They had
technology.
Sidney Lutz of Lutz Associates in always negotiated with governments,
Farmington Hills has been involved with countries.
"The license agreement is with
with the new project for a long period.
He has been active in the World ORT Lutz Associates who has assigned it
Union, the umbrella for the American to ACTT as the marketing arm. Lutz
ORT Federation, Women's_American Associates is the principal supplier of
the subcontract, editing and writing
ORT and Men's ORT.
"The World ORT Union has a of the curriculum.
"We set up ACTT to modify and
great number of technical -assistance
programs in several Countries," Lutz market these programs, and essen-
explains, "so it has become non- tially translate them from a 12th
sectarian in its outreach. It helps grade British English level to a 7th
other governments as well as Jews to grade American English level so it
learn skills and trades, for example, could be understood by most people,
road building. They will help an because in America everyone should
African country build some roads have a chance, not just the bright
while training its people to build ones," explains Lutz.
Several years ago, as automation
some more."
"About six years ago, with the and technology began to show up in
British Manpower Services Commis- the industrialized sector of the
sion in London, they developed a workplace, ORT discovered there was
technology literacy program, based on a step missing between teaching basic
computers, robotics and automation, skills and machine-specific training.
and it's been highly successful. The They've named it technology literacy
program has spread to other coun- — the ability to comprehend what the

technology is all about.
ACTT is designed to bridge the
gap 'in knowledge about new
developments in the manufacturing
process. With more sophisticated
machinery entering the work place
constantly, many workers are being
left behind or are losing their jobs as
their skill levels are inadequate to
make the change. It means educating
workers about adapting to the work
environment.
Buzz Brown, a former vice presi-
dent of educational services at In-
acomp who's had extensive
background in microcomputers, was
chosen to serve as president of the
fledgling ACTT. He went to London
late last year for training.
Brown and other ACTT officials
are now considered "master trainers.
We were trained on the methodology
and curriculum. Part of our agree-
ment with ORT stipulates ACTT
must guarantee the same quality of
education that ORT delivers. We have
to guarantee that in this country. So
when we sell a training site to, let's
say, a Ford plant, whoever does the
training in that plant must be train-
ed by our people, so we can pass on the
same curriculum and methodology
that's been used. ORT does not want

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