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 WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The launch of the National Telecommuting and Telework Association (NTTA), a trade association designed to advance the already rapidly growing telecommuting phenomenon, was announced today by its founding members: Rockwell International, GTE Telephone Operations, BellSouth Telecommunications, Ameritech, Southwestern Bell and Bell Atlantic.
 Growth to at least 1,000 member companies is expected by the end of the decade.
 Telecommuting is a fancy word for a simple idea: namely, using technology to work from home or from a satellite office on a full or part-time basis. The advances in the domestic telecommunications infrastructure, combined with the proliferation of personal computers, fax machines and modems, have allowed workers to use telecommunications to replace their daily commute. Ranging from one or two days per week to full time, telecommuting programs are tailored to meet the individual needs of employers and employees.
 A number of public and private organizations have implemented telecommuting programs, fostering significant gains in productivity and profitability. The NTTA calls these companies "Telecommuting Enterprises," reflecting their trend-setting role in redefining the workplace.
 The association will represent these Telecommuting Enterprises by serving as a clearinghouse for techniques and information, and working with policymakers at all levels of government to create a "telecommuting- friendly" marketplace. Although many companies have already begun to utilize telecommuting as a work alternative, the NTTA hopes to make telecommuting's benefits available sooner and more universally to Telecommuting Enterprises and their employees.
 U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), who has championed telecommuting in Congress, applauded NTTA's mission. Burns stated: "Many people don't know that telecommuting can provide at least a partial solution to a wide variety of policy questions now facing our country. Among its many benefits, telecommuting can help us achieve cleaner air, promote energy conservation and open the doors of opportunity to handicapped and homebound persons. I look forward to the NTTA playing a productive role in helping to bring national attention to this important workplace alternative."
 According to a study conducted earlier this year by the Department of Transportation, more than 2 million full time workers currently telecommute at least part of the week. The study also estimated that this figure could increase to 15 million within the next 10 years.
 Business priorities are merging with societal progress to drive the rapid growth in telecommuting. Public and private organizations have reported substantial gains in both quality and quantity of work when workers are free to match tasks with work locations. The demand for innovative work styles, including telecommuting, is a growing factor in recruiting and retaining high demand skills. In a highly competitive global economy, the competitive edge aided by telecommuting takes on added importance.
 Telecommuting also offers solutions to numerous societal problems. Telecommuting has been proven to reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMTs), which mitigates urban congestion, improves air quality and reduces energy consumption. With road and bridge rehabilitation competing against urban lane growth for scarce road tax revenues, encouraging traffic abatement through telecommuting is an economically compelling public policy goal. Telecommuting also allows rural states and communities to participate in high-skill/high-wage economic development.
 For membership information, call the NTTA headquarters in Washington at 202-833-2548.
 -0- 9/27/93
 /CONTACT: Tom Gibson of the National Telecommuting and Telework Association, 202-833-2548/

CO: National Telecommuting and Telework Association ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS SU:

BN-RA -- AT001 -- 5828 09/27/93 09:41 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 27, 1993

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