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October 10, 2000
UAW and DaimlerChrysler Announce Distance College Learning Program
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ROIT -- Assembly line workers with Master's degrees and hi-lo drivers working toward Ph.D.s might soon be the standard at UAW-represented DaimlerChrysler facilities. The UAW-DaimlerChrysler National Training Center has come out with something called, an online learning program launched at a "virtual ribbon-cutting" at the NTC on Oct. 9, 2000.

Workers and families attend college from anywhere

While UAW-bargained Tuition Assistance Program benefits have long allowed workers to attend colleges and universities, many cannot take time from busy family and work lives to go to classes even when schools are nearby. is designed to let those workers go to college just about anywhere without leaving their homes or workplaces.

This one-of-a-kind learning program -- a joint operation of the union and the automaker -- has an extensive, Internet-based support system, special online readiness guides and readily available technical assistance lines that have been designed to help workers and their dependents successfully complete college courses. The NTC relied on education experts from Michigan State University, who helped them create a Web site that prepares and guides workers through the maze of higher education.

Many choices

More than a dozen colleges and universities have been screened, evaluated and granted preferred status, and eventually expects the choices of higher-education institutions for online learners to number in the hundreds.

"This is the kind of program that can make our workforce the best-educated in the world," said DaimlerChrysler Joint Activities Board Co-Chairman John Franciosi, who is Senior Vice President, Employee Relations for DalmlerChrysler. " puts UAW-DaimlerChrysler workers in the forefront of the "e-learning" revolution."

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