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THE SKY'S NO LONGER THE LIMIT: TELECONFERENCING INTRODUCED TO THE NURSERY INDUSTRY

 HARRISBURG, Pa., March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Nurserymen's Association held the first horticultural teleconference on Wage and Hour issues on March 4 from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
 The teleconference, held at 11 sites statewide, encouraged distance- learning through new technology and enabled participants to verify their compliance with wage and hour laws. The teleconference was broadcast from Hershey Nursery in Hershey, Pa.
 The presentation was delivered by Fred Atterbury, AAN's Wage and Hour consultant, and John Johnson, attorney, of Buchanan Ingersoll Professional Corporation. Members attending the teleconference made the following statements:
 "The fast pace of speakers and very effective examples kept this dry subject quite interesting! Good handouts!"
 "I've become aware of the need for records due to this teleconference."
 "The packet of information received is worth more than the registration fee!"
 Written evaluations by teleconference participants echoed these comments. All participants indicated that the teleconference met their expectations, provided relevant and useful information, and would be applicable in their work. Pre- and post-tests implemented at selected sites resulted in an average knowledge gain of 26 percent. When asked if they would attend future teleconferences or recommend a teleconference to others, 97 percent answered affirmatively.
 According to Education Director Corrine W. Shearer, the Pennsylvania Nurserymen's Association decided to try teleconferencing because of its ability to promote statewide training by national experts at less than the cost of holding several workshops across the state. "Employers utilizing this technology like the fact that employees are spending less time away from the job as the sessions are brought close to the place of employment. We believed that this type of educational delivery would be very effective for the horticultural industry," stated Shearer. Additionally, she said that the instruction is consistent as all those participating hear the same message from the speakers, travel expenses are reduced, and more participants can be reached. This interactive medium allows for all participants to hear questions phoned in to the presenters as well as the answers given.
 The association is planning to hold future teleconferences based on the success of this first-ever event. Ideas for future topics were requested from participants and will be considered by the committee.
 For more information about this or future teleconferences, contact the Pennsylvania Nurserymen's Association, 1924 N. Second St., Harrisburg, Pa., 17102, or call 717-238-1673.
 /delval/
 -0- 3/23/93
 /CONTACT: Denise R. Calabrese, public affairs director of the Pennsylvania Nurseymen's Association, 717-238-1673/


CO: Pennsylvania Nurserymen's Association SU: Pennsylvania IN: AGR SU:

CC-LJ -- PH008 -- 8742 03/23/93 14:41 EST
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Date:Mar 23, 1993
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