Clinton orders high-tech training

Clinton orders high-tech training

President Clinton Tuesday signed an executive order encouraging agencies to use innovative technology in their training programs.

Vice President Al Gore announced the new initiative at a summit called "21st Century Skills for 21st Century Jobs." Gore said the forum was designed to help "working Americans get the skills they need to succeed and to ensure employers get the skilled workers they need to stay competitive."

Gore, Labor Secretary Alexis Herman, Commerce Secretary William Daley and Office of Personnel Management Director Janice Lachance joined business, education and labor leaders at the meeting.

Lachance said that as the nation's largest employer, the federal government will become a model user of technology for training.

Lachance will head the President's Task Force on Federal Training Technology, which will, according to the executive order, make training opportunities an integral part of continuing employment in the federal government.

Within 18 months of the order, the task force must develop and recommend to Clinton a policy to use technology to improve training opportunities for employees. Specifically, the task force will analyze the use of technology in existing training programs, form partnerships among key federal agencies and state and local governments and recommend standards for training software purchased by agencies and contractors.

The group will also identify cross-agency training areas that could benefit from new instructional technologies and recommend changes to existing procurement laws to encourage technology in training.

Also as part of the order, each federal agency must include as part of its budget a set of goals to provide the "highest quality and most efficient training opportunities" to its employees.