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AMERITECH TAKING DISTANCE LEARNING INTO TOLEDO, FINDLAY WORKPLACES

 CLEVELAND, May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameritech today introduced SkillLink to northwest Ohio, believed to be the first distance learning project in the nation to make quality education convenient and accessible to manufacturers by using fiber optics to link classrooms with workplaces.
 SkillLink uses fiber optic technology and fully interactive television to link several locations in Toledo and Findlay into a learning network. This allows employees at several sites to take advantage of education and job retraining opportunities to which they might otherwise not have access.
 Ameritech is partnering with the Ohio Manufacturers' Association (OMA) and Owens Technical College in Toledo to make SkillLink available. SkillLink will connect Owens Technical College with several northwest Ohio businesses.
 Ameritech along with its local operating company, Ohio Bell, will contribute about $800,000 for the project. Owens Technical College and the participating companies will have the option of purchasing the equipment.
 The companies which will participate in SkillLink are Bell Metal Container Corporation, Centrex Corporation, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Harris Corporation/Semiconductor Sector, Libbey Inc., and Whirlpool Corporation/Findlay Division. Both the Toledo and Findlay campuses of Owens Technical College will be part of SkillLink.
 "In March, Ohio Bell unveiled Advantage Ohio, an ambitious proposal to jump start the Information Age by modernizing Ohio's communications network, expanding economic development and job opportunities and improving the quality of life," said Frank Boscarillo, Ameritech's SkillLink coordinator. "SkillLink is an example of how the public communications network can offer educational and retraining resources to every business."
 Ohio Bell and Ameritech are installing more than four miles of optical fiber cable to the existing network and also will assist each company to set up its on-site classrooms.
 "The beauty of SkillLink is that students can see and talk to the students in selected classrooms, as well as to the instructor," said Dr. Paul Unger,


vice president for academic affairs at Owens Technical College. "Unlike typical interactive training, such as video disk training which is only one-way communication, SkillLink simulates a live classroom experience but eliminates the travel time and expense."
 The OMA selected the companies so that a broad cross-section of the manufacturing community is represented.
 "The potential impact that SkillLink will have on Ohio's manufacturing industry is enormous, particularly for the small and mid- size companies whose employees might not take advantage of education and training opportunities if they have to travel to distant campuses or training facilities," said Bill Burns, vice president of the OMA. "SkillLink is a convenient and accessible means of educating and training employees right in the workplace. It also provides companies with a forum for sharing information, ideas and effective business techniques."
 -0- 5/3/93
 /CONTACT: Keith Jameson of Ohio Bell Telephone Company, 216-822-4548/
 (AIT)


CO: Ameritech ST: Ohio IN: TLS SU:

AR -- CL024 -- 3896 05/03/93 15:03 EDT
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Date:May 3, 1993
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