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Energy Program Receives $75,000 Gift from AT&T

PULLMAN, Wash. — The Washington State University Cooperative Extension Energy Program has received a $75,000 gift from the AT&T Foundation.

The funds will be used to help create a new telework exhibit and series of seminars, according to Dee Christensen, telecommuting program manager.

“The WSU Energy Program is completely self-supporting through grants,” Christensen said. “This is the first gift of funds.”

Telework, also known as telecommuting, involves telecommunications and computer technology that lets employees work outside of the traditional workplace, often from home.

Christensen said the home office telework exhibit will become the focal point for discussions among telework experts, business leaders and government officials on the use of telework as a solution to expanding energy, transportation and environmental issues.  On-site seminars, featuring experts from across the country, are designed to raise awareness about the viability of telework.

She said the exhibit will be created as part of an extension of an existing exhibit called Future@Work which advances new attitudes and practices in corporate offices, connecting technology, emerging office design and new insights into the workplace.  This exhibit opened in June 1997 at the Columbia Seafirst Building in Seattle and has been seen by representatives of more than 3,000 businesses and organizations around the world.

The WSU Energy Program has developed and delivered energy information and technical services to audiences around the country for 22 years.  A staff of 50 in Olympia helps businesses, governments and individuals make cost-effective energy decisions through one-on-one customer service, on-site and on-line training, research and development and demonstration projects.

The program, formerly the Washington State Energy Office, became part of WSU Cooperative Extension in 1996.

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