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I ndustrial R etraining P rograms
for

T echnological C hange

A Study of the Performance of Older Workers

Bulletin No. 1368

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
W. Willard Wirtz, Secretary
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
Ewan Clague, Commissioner




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INDUSTRIAL RETRAINING PROGRAMS
FOR TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE

A Study of the Performance of Older Workers

I ^

•MB

Bulletin No. 1368
June 1963
UN ITED STATES DEPARTM EN T O F LABO R
W. Willard Wirtz, Secretary
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
Ewan Clague, Commissioner

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, W ashington 25, D.C. - Price 25 cents







Preface

The introduction of automation and other technological changes is
often accompanied by problems of adjustment for individual workers. Many
workers are compelled to acquire new skill and knowledge to maintain their
employability. The retraining of older workers is considered particularly
critical.
This study was undertaken by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in an
attempt to understand the types of technological changes that give rise to
the need for retraining in industry and the effectiveness with which older
workers already on the job adapt to such retraining. It was, however, only
a pilot study of limited aspects of the broad subject of older worker
adaptability.
The study was conducted by Dr. Arnold Tannenbaum and Gary Grenholm
of the Survey Research Center, Institute of Social Research of the University
of Michigan, for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The final draft of the
bulletin was prepared by Edgar Weinberg, Chief, Division of Technological
Studies, as part of the Bureau*s research on the impact of technological
change under the general direction of Leon Greenberg, Assistant Commissioner
for Productivity and Technological Developments.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is grateful to the companies which
made their records available for this study. The Bureau is also indebted to
the Institute and to numerous individuals who assisted in the extensive
preliminary canvass necessary in locating the companies studied.




i




Contents

Page
Introduction ........................................................
Highlights and summary........................ . ...................
Retraining of oil refinery production workers .....................
Retraining of aircraft production workers, technicians, and engineers
Retraining of airline maintenance mechanics . ......................
Retraining of telephone operators . . ...............................
Selected bibliography ..............................................

1
5
7
13
21
25
33

fables:
1.
2.

3.

4.
5.

6.

7.
8.
9.
10.
11.

12.

13.

Production workers at oil refinery: Level of performance of
younger and older trainees on training courses . . . . . . .
Production workers at oil refinery: Level of performance of
older and younger trainees when differences in education are
taken into a c c o u n t ........................................
Instrument mechanics at oil refinery: Percent of older and
younger trainees who received grades above and below average
test s c o r e s ...............
Training courses at an aircraft plant: Comparative performance
of older and younger trainees on t e s t s ...............
Training courses at an aircraft plant: Comparative performance
of older and younger trainees on tests, with differences in
education taken into account .............................
Training courses given to weldors at aircraft plant: Percent
of older and younger trainees, above and below median time
needed to achieve certification ...................... . . .
Airline: Level of courses and number of courses and trainees .
Representative course titles, by level ......................
Airline maintenance workers: Distribution of courses according
to comparative performance of older trainees ........ . . .
Telephone operator trainees: Level of performance on various
measures, by age group .............. ................... ..
Telephone operator trainees: Level of performance of trainees
with 8-11 years of education, on various measures, by age
g r o u p ...............................................
Telephone operator trainees: Level of performance in various
measures, of trainees with 12 years or more of education, by
age g r o u p ...........
Telephone operator trainees: Level of performance on tests
interpreting tickets, by age group .......................




iii

10

11

12
18

19

20
23
23
24
28

29

30
31




1

Industrial Retraining Programs for Technological Change

Introduction
The rapid pace of technological change creates widespread interest
in programs for retraining workers now employed in industry. Changes in
equipment, processes, and products often involve obsolescence of skill and
knowledge of workers. By retraining and reassigning workers to other jobs
within a firm, management is frequently able to retain in useful employment
those whose former duties have been eliminated, but who have abilities and
background useful in other operations. Such steps are preventive measures
against the hardships of layoff and unemployment and the waste of human
talents.
Measures to improve the employability of older workers are partic­
ularly important, because older workers, once laid off, generally find it
difficult to obtain new jobs and may experience long periods of unemployment.
As automation and other technological changes are introduced more widely, the
retraining of older workers in industry for new or different jobs becomes
increasingly urgent, for management and communities as well as for the workers
themselves.
This study seeks to broaden understanding of the capacity of older
workers in industry to adapt to technological change. An objective inves­
tigation was made of performance in retraining programs that were undertaken
by firms as part of the introduction of new technology. Specifically, the
study first describes various cases of technological change at selected
plants and the content of the retraining courses that were given in connec­
tion with the changes. Second, the results of tests that had been given in
connection with the courses are analyzed, to determine how well older workers
employed in these plants performed in retraining programs.
The report is intended only as a pilot step in exploring an impor­
tant aspect of technological change rather than a comprehensive investiga­
tion of the subject of older worker adaptability. Although retraining is
recognized as a key problem, comparatively little information is available
about the training experience and problems of workers in a job environment.
Studies of adaptability often involve comparisons of rates of learning by
older and younger persons under laboratory or school conditions, where moti­
vation and other conditions are quite different from industrial training
situations. 1/ A better understanding of the trainability of older workers

1/ See E. A. Jerome, "Age and Learning--Experimental Studies," and
Ross McFarland and Brian O'Doherty, "tfork and Occupational Skills," Handbook
of Aging and the Individual. James E. Birren, editor (Chicago, University of
Chicago Press, 1959), pp. 655-699 and 487-497*




2

in industry has been advocated as a step toward developing measures for
improving their capacity to cope with changing industrial job demands, 2/
Scope and Method. The study presents information on four companies in dif­
ferent industries where technological changes were introduced, requiring the
retraining of employees. About 2,200 workers in different types of occupa­
tions were covered: Production workers in an oil refinery; maintenance
mechanics in an airline; engineers, technicians, and craftsmen in an aircraft
factory; and operators in a telephone company.
The companies covered in the study were selected after an eyt„iilve
4
canvass covering about 100 industrial, business, and government organizations.
While many of the firms had made recent technical changes requiring the re­
training of employees, few had adequate records of training performance.
The four finally included in this study were the only canvassed firms which
had kept objective measures of the performance of individual workers during
retraining, had included workers over AO as well as under AO in the programs,
and had personnel records showing age and educational level of the workers.
The information was collected through interviews with personnel and training
officials. Data on the performance of trainees were obtained from company
personnel and training records.
Training was usually highly specialized and each course was given
to only a small number of trainees. In analyzing the results, trainees in
most cases were divided into two age groups--older and younger trainees.
(See tables for the age groups used in each case.) Further subdivisions
were not possible because of the small number of trainees in each course.
Also, because of the diversity of courses, it was not considered feasible to
aggregate the results of the different tests. Accordingly, comparisons of
younger and older workers are made, wherever possible, for each course.
While each test covered only a small number of trainees, the total number of
tests and trainees was sufficiently large to provide a basis for drawing some
tentative conclusions.
The nature of recent technological changes at each plant, their
effect on job requirements, the content of retraining programs, and the
comparative performance of trainees of different age groups and educational
levels, as measured by tests and other objective standards, are described
briefly.

2/ See Employment Security and Retirement of the Older Worker%
Reports and Guidelines from the White House Conference on Aging, Series
No. 3 (U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1961), p. 27.




3

Some Considerations. In assessing the findings, it is important to consider
certain aspects and limitations of the scope and method of the study.
First, the performance on tests of older trainees is compared with
that of younger trainees. However, the study does not deal with the question
of whether the performance of retrained workers met the minimum requirements
established by employers. Since no evidence was found that any trainee was
laid off because of test performance, presumably, companies preferred to use
performance on the job to which the trainee is assigned as the yardstick for
evaluating the usefulness of training, taking into account not only produc­
tivity (as affected by training), but also attendance, attitude, and
reliability.
Second, the study was limited to those aspects of retraining for
which objective data on the performance of trainees could be obtained from
company records. Considered outside the scope of the study are the interests
and attitudes of older and younger trainees about the changes in their jobs
and the retraining and the opinion of supervisors and instructors about
workers' performance although they are also relevant to broad questions about
general adaptability to technological change.
Third, the study compares the performance of trainees of different
age groups on a given date. The results reflect the influence of the expan­
sion of educational opportunities in recent years. Age differences should
not be interpreted to mean that performance necessarily changes as a trainee
grows older. Studies of the effects of aging on retraining performance, where
individuals are followed over several decades, would be useful, but the data
for such a study are not readily available.
Fourth, the study is limited to comparisons of the performance of
older and younger trainees on tests given as part of retraining. The results
are not necessarily indicative of comparative on-the-job performance of older
and younger trainees after retraining. For purposes of an overall assessment,
comparative records of attendance, continuity of service, and productivity of
trainees after having been placed on new jobs would need to be considered.
Other studies by the Bureau of,Labor Statistics have revealed the difficulties
of making generalizations about older workers' job performance because of the
wide variability in relevant factors among workers at all ages, with some
older workers doing as wel* or better than some younger workers. Moreover,
differences in productivity between age groups were often found to be relatively
small. 3/

3/ See Comparative Job Performance by Age: Large Plants in Men's
Footwear and Household Furniture Industries (BLS Bulletin 1223, 1957); and
Comparative Job Performance by Age: Office Workers (BLS Bulletin 1273, 1960).




4

Finally, the results of this study do not necessarily reflect
experience in retraining programs where all trainees are carefully screened
so that only those with maximum potentialities for success are selected.
Having made changes in equipment and methods, the companies covered had re­
trained workers on the job, older as well as younger.




5

Highlights and Summary
Technological Change and Retraining. Because of important changes in equip­
ment, processes, or products, at the companies studied, large groups of work­
ers had to be retrained so that plant operations after the change could be
carried on efficiently. Hiring already qualified workers in place of those
on the job was not considered desirable or practicable. Thus, modernization
of an oil refinery required training in new processes and instrumentation;
greater use of electronic equipment and new metals by an aircraft manufac­
turer-- training of technicians, engineers, and electricians in electronics;
the introduction of jets by an airline--courses for mechanics and technicians
in maintenance of turbine engines; and the application of computers by a tele­
phone company--retraining of operators in the use of mark-sense punch cards.
Retraining generally involved enlarging or upgrading the knowledge or skill
of employees or a modification o * methods rather than completely changing
over to new occupations. Retraining, in short, constituted a major step in
the introduction of technological change in the companies studied.
Content of Retraining. One noteworthy aspect of the retraining given to
workers was the extensive classroom instruction, often in technical subjects,
required in numerous cases. Thus, the aircraft company's electricians, tech­
nicians, and engineers were given courses in electronics; the oil company's
operators, courses in basic mathematics, instrumentation, and processing; and
the airline's mechanics, courses in gyro instrument overhaul. The duration
of the courses varied:
seme took as many as BOO hours of technical instruc­
tion over a 2-year period; others, only 6 hours for familiarization. Teaching
methods involve lecture, practice demonstration, laboratory work, and on-thejob instruction. Older workers whose job duties were affected by the change
were enrolled in these retraining programs along with younger workers and
received the same instruction. Through retraining, these companies were able
to make further use of experience and knowledge gained within the plant that
was still relevant to the work to be done.
Older and Younger Workers in Retraining. The experience of the four companies
gives no grounds for simple generalizations about the adaptability among older
workers and shows no factual basis that would justify barriers to their
entrance into training programs. Comparisons of test results show the younger
group often doing better than the older group. The younger trainees were
likely to respond more readily and learn mere quickly, particularly when
training courses were short and emphasis was on rapid acquisition of percep­
tual-motor skills. However, in a few courses where the training continued
over longer periods, older workers more often performed as well or better than
the younger workers. Another important finding was that some proportion-sometimes as high as 40 percent--of older workers on most of the tests analyzed
did better than some of the younger workers.




6

Evidence from the study contradicts the notion that older workers
cannot learn or cannot be retrained. The findings imply that age, by itself,
is not a reliable or useful criterion for determining the suitability of
workers for training. The study confirms the findings of other studies
relating age to work performance, that there is great variation among individ­
uals. Thus, while younger workers performed better on the retraining tests,
on the average, there were individual older workers who performed better than
average and better than some of the younger workers. Arbitrary age barriers
in training programs or in employment would therefore exclude many older
workers capable of high-level performance in training. In short, the findings
of this study reaffirm the importance of appraising a worker*s adaptability on
the basis of individual capacity and aptitudes rather than on that of chrono­
logical age.
Importance of Counseling. The test results reflect, to some extent, the
prevalence of informal methods of selecting trainees, reflecting the urgent
need for new skills in the face of changing technology. Only a few trainees
were tested, interviewed, or counseled in advance of training. The results
from these few cases suggest that such procedures might result in a better
matching of the aptitudes of candidates (of all ages) with the retraining to
be given and in modification of training programs to meet the needs of individ
ual workers. Counseling helps the worker not only in assessing his ability
but also in allaying his apprehensions about training which older workers espe
cially may fear and resist because of its novelty or unfamiliarity.
Education and Retraining. Some evidence, although fragmentary, suggests that
lack of education may be a serious handicap for older trainees relative to
younger. Older and younger workers with the same level of education differed
less in performance. The older trainees had a lower average level of edu­
cational attainment and lacked recent school experience. This would seem to
bear out the contention of educators that learning ability deteriorates with
disuse. Over the long run, improvement and extension of educational oppor­
tunities for adults and youth may be one of the most important factors in
assuring their adaptability when they become older.
Need for Additional Research. The evidence from this limited study points
up the need for further research into the potentialities and problems of
retraining employed older workers within industry. Since continuing techno­
logical change will undoubtedly intensify the need for retraining within
industry, it would be helpful to know more about special training methods that
obtain the best results from older trainees. Future research might be con­
cerned, not only with the older worker*s ability to learn, but also, for
example, with the applicability of programed learning and other techniques
which permit the trainee to control the pace of learning. It might explore
the influence of the older worker*s attitude toward training, and the effect
of the instructor*s practices and attitudes on the progress of older trainees.
Wider dissemination of knowledge about the ability of older persons to learn
and to be retrained should contribute to an easier adjustment to technological
change.



7

Retraining of Oil Refinery Production Workers
The first study involved the retraining of production and maintenance
workers of an oil refinery which had undergone extensive modernization. The
refinery is a relatively small plant, employing about 450 workers.
It is one
of the major installations of a petroleum company.
Nature of the Technological Change. The technical changes that occasioned
the retraining involved a higher degree of process integration than existed
previously. In the old refinery operations, according to a company descrip­
tion, "crude oil and the various intermediate products are cooled, pumped to
storage, and then subjected to reheating and further processing in other
units. By this old system, the one still followed by most of the petroleum
industry, the oil must pass through several separate installations, each
subject to its own controls, before it is possible to blend the final products."
Relatively obsolete reciprocating pumps were used, rather than the newer
centrifugal type. The process control system was relatively crude, with
manually operated temperature controls. Only five endproducts were made.
The new plant incorporates the "straight through" process. The
cooling-storage-reheating parts of the old system are eliminated. Much more
processing is done. Eleven endproducts are made. The capacity has been
increased. According to the company, "The unit must work as one continuous
operation, or not at all. Except for the delayed coking process, no part of
it can stop for more than 12 hours without the entire unit slowing down
significantly or shutting down completely."
An extremely complex, highly instrumented control system is used.
Some 2,300 instruments record and control the actions of 235 pumps, compressors,
and blowers, and 15,800 valves. The entire system is coordinated through a
96-foot semicircular central control panel. This system makes possible a
higher degree of quality control than hitherto possible.
Modernization has meant significant changes for production workers.
Previously, there were six different job classifications in the production
department, each with its own pay rate. After the change, the job classifi­
cations for hourly workers were reduced to two. Under the new integrated
system, operating workers must have some knowledge of processes in other parts
of the plant as well as their own processing unit (or zone). Finally, because
of the greater extent of instrumentation, workers with responsibility for
keeping instruments functioning properly were transferred from the mainte­
nance to the production department--a change reflecting their increased
importance in plant operations.
Retraining Program. The company gave extensive advance retraining to prepare
employees for work in the modernized refinery. In this study, however, only
the two types of retraining programs for which performance data are available
are described: The series of courses covering plant processes given to 82




8

operating workers of the production department; and the series of courses
covering instrumentation given to 18 workers in the instrumentation division
of the production department.
The first series were courses designed to familiarize operating
workers with the new equipment and the complicated pattern of process flow,
and to prepare them to meet problem situations. Two sets of courses were
given, each 8 hours a day, 5 days a week--one for 3 weeks for a total of 120
hours; another for 4 weeks or 160 hours. A third set of courses was given
4 to 8 hours a week over a 2-year period. Each set involved several separate
courses covering different process units of the refinery. Workers were not
required to take all of the courses in a set, but a majority took more than
one course. All training was administered by management personnel.
A second series of courses were given to 18 workers in the instru­
mentation division. One set, given by the management staff covered introduc­
tory material:
The principles of measuring pressure, temperature, liquid
level, flow, and their application in the refinery; elementary mathematics;
operations of control valves, and the process flow of the refinery. Another
set, given by the staff of a local university, covered electricity and elec­
tronics, including vacuum tubes, rectifiers, and amplifiers. A third set,
given by the manufacturers of the instruments and control devices, dealt with
the construction, use, and maintenance of specific control devices, valves,
and meters.

only
took
on a
half

A total of 21 courses was given but information was available for
six. Not all the 18 trainees took every course. The entire program
place over a 9-month period. For the first 5 months, training was given
classroom basis, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. For the last 4 months,
of the training was in the classroom; half, on the job.

Performance in Retraining. Information on the performance of trainees was
obtained from grades on written examinations given in the classroom. The
average (i.e., median) grades received on written exams were the basis of the
analysis of the 12 courses for production workers shown in table 1.
For each course, the performance of each trainee was compared with
the average, and these comparisons were grouped separately for younger and
older trainees. The age basis used differed slightly from course to course.
In 11 of the 12 courses, half or more of the younger trainees had grades
above the average. In comparison, half or more of the older trainees had
above average grades in only 3 of the 12 courses. However, further analysis
reveals that a significant proportion of the older trainees (40 percent or
more) were above average in 7 out of the 12 courses.




9

Moreover, the relative performance of older and younger trainees
on the 12 tests compare differently when the effects of differences in edu­
cation are eliminated. Table 2 reflects the performance score for each
trainee in relation to the average performance score of all trainees having
the same number of years of formal schooling. In 7 of the 12 courses, 50
percent or more of older trainees had above average grades and in 10 of the
courses, 40 percent or more were above average. This performance was very
similar to that of the younger group. In 8 courses, 50 percent or more of
the younger trainees were above average and in 10 courses, 40 percent were
above average.
Since the content of the six instrumentation courses was more diffi­
cult than the first set of courses, the company observed special care in the
selection of trainees, placing emphasis on formal education. A number of
otherwise eligible employees were eliminated because of lack of formal edu­
cation. Trainees were also interviewed and given some guidance and coun­
seling in advance concerning the training. During these briefings, they were
able to ask questions, express doubts, and weigh carefully their interest in
taking the course. A number of potential trainees withdrew voluntarily after
learning about the training program in this initial interview. Finally, three
trainees decided to exercise their option of returning to their previous jobs
during the first 4 weeks of training. No information is available on their
age or education.
The results shown in table 3 are particularly noteworthy. Half or
more of the older trainees performed better than average in five of the six
courses. In comparison, half or more of the younger employees exceeded aver­
age in only three courses. Careful selection, counseling, and guidance in
advance probably contributed to the older trainees' superior performance.
The small number of trainees involved, however, limits the inferences that
can be drawn.




10

Table 1.

Production workers at oil refinery: Level of performance of
younger and older trainees 1/ on training courses
Younger trainees

Name and duration
of course

1.
2.
3.
4#
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

Zone
Zone
Zone
Zone
Zone
Zone
Zone
Zone
Zone
Zone
Zone
Zone

A (3 weeks) 2/ ...
B-D (3 weeks) ....
C (3 weeks) .....
D (3 weeks) .....
A (4 weeks) .....
B (4 weeks) .....
C (4 weeks) .....
D (4 weeks) .....
A (2 years) ......
B (2 years) .....
C (2 years) .....
D (2 years) .....

Number
of
trainees

12
10
10
5
15
12
15
4
10
7
8
5

Older trainees

Percent
tibove Below
aver­ aver­
age
age
grade grade

58
50
60
80
47
58
53
50
50
75
63
60

42
50
40
20
53
42
47
50
50
25
37
40

Percent
Number
of
trainees

10
11
11
5
15
13
13
3
10
8
8
6

Above
aver­
age
grade

Below
aver­
age
grade

40
45
36
20
53
46
31
33
40
50
50
33

60
55
64
80
47
54
69
67
60
50
50
67

1/ Because of the small number of trainees in each course, it was
necessary to use several different age criteria for dividing the trainees:
In courses 1 and 2, older trainees included those 47 years and over; courses
3, 5, and 12, 43 years and over; course 4, 51 years and over; course 6, 52
years and over; course 7, 49 years and over; course 8, 48 years and over;
courses 9 and 11, 39 years and over; course 10, 42 years and over.
2/ "Zone1 refers to a processing unit within the refinery.
1




11

Table 2. Production workers at oil refinery: Level of performance of older
and younger trainees 1/ when differences in education are taken into
account 2/
Older trainees

Younger trainees

Percent

Percent
Name and duration
of course

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

Zone
Zone
Zone
Zone
Zone
Zone
Zone
Zone
Zone
Zone
Zone
Zone

A (3 weeks) .....
B-D (3 weeks) ...
C (3 weeks) ....
D (3 weeks) ....
A (4 weeks) .....
B (4 weeks) ....
C (4 weeks) .....
D (4 weeks) ....
A (2 years) ....
B (2 years) ....
C (2 years) ....
D (2 years) ....

Number
of
trainees

12
10
10
3
12
12
11
5
12
6
8
A

Above
aver­
age
grade

Below
aver­
age
grade

50
AO
50
33
58
67
82
A0
58
50
50
25

50
60
50
67
A2
33
18
60
A2
50
50
75

Number
of
trainees

9
9
10
A
13
10
13
2
6
A
8
A

Above
aver­
age
grade

Below
aver­
age
grade

A5
67
50
50
A6
A0
31
100
33
50
63
75

55
33
50
50
5A
60
69
0
66
50
37
25

1/ See footnote 1, table 1*
2/ Based on the performance score for each trainee in relation to
the average performance score of all trainees having the same number of years
of formal schooling.




12

Table 3. Instrument mechanics at oil refinery: Percent of older and younger
trainees 1/ who received grades above and below average test scores
Older trainees

Younger trainees

Percent

Percent
Name of course

Number
of
trainees

Above
aver­
age
grade

Below
aver­
age
grade

Number
of
trainees

Above
aver­
age
grade

Below
aver­
age
grade

1. Company course: Ele­
mentary mathematics ...

7

29

71

6

67

33

2. Company course: Frac­
tions and decimals

8

47

53

7

71

29

3. Vendor course: Control
valves ..........

8

50

50

7

43

57

4. Vendor course: Controls
and valves •••••••*••••

8

50

50

6

67

33

5. Vendor course:
indicators

8

50

50

6

50

50

7

43

57

6

50

50

Level

6. University course: Gen­
erators and a.c.
circuits .............




1/

Older trainees include those 40 years of age and over

13

Retraining of Aircraft Production Workers, Technicians, and Engineers
The second study covered the retraining of production workers,
technicians, and engineers at a division of a large west coast aircraft
manufacturing company. With rapid changes in military technology in recent
years, the company has had to shift its work to encompass not only aircraft
production, but also research and development of advanced weapons systems,
electronic components, and the metallurgy of "exotic" metals, such as
titanium.
The company has undertaken extensive retraining programs to cope
with changing production requirements. Over 100 persons are now employed
in its training department. The company’s policy is as follows:
_/The company/ does not teach skills when applicants with these
skills can be hired. However, intensive in-plant training has been a nec­
essary companion of the great forward strides made by our engineers. For
the past ten years the company has been working in fields never before ex­
plored by industry. It has been impossible, in most cases, to hire people
with the required experience. Teaching jthe skill has_been the only an­
swer . . . more than 90 percent of ]_the company'js/ requirements for
skilled technicians have been met by hiring relatively inexperienced per­
sons and training them upward through a succession of skills.
Technological Changes and Retraining. Because of the great variety of tech­
nical changes and training courses, it is not possible to,present a full
description of changes and all retraining given. A few representative re­
training courses therefore were selected for which performance data were
available covering both older and younger workers. Six different types of
training courses are briefly described. The performance results are set
forth in the following sections.
Training in Optical Tooling. Because of the need for greater precision in
manufacturing parts, a number of new optical devices for measuring and alin­
ing have been introduced for the use of toolmakers. Higher speeds of air­
craft require greater accuracy and smaller tolerances in assembling. Optical
tools, which replace the level and plumb in detecting misalinements, are more
sensitive to minute misalinements due to contraction or expansion of metals.
They also allow the toolmaker to aline more accurately, parts in angular
relationship to each other.
The training
cal instruction in the
room lectures combined
trainees themselves in
ments. Each class was




given to 24 production workers was primarily practi­
everyday use of several different devices. Class­
with demonstrations were followed by practice by the
setting up and using the instruments in making alinelimited to four or five trainees.

14

Successful performance in this task requires: Comprehension of
the purpose and nature of the instrument; acquisition of manipulative skill
in setting up the device quickly and accurately; and ability to make fine
visual discrimination in using the tool.
Training in Electronics. Because of the growing use of electronic equipment
both in the design of aircraft and in the production tools used, the company
provided extensive training in various aspects of electronics. The avail­
able data cover courses given to engineers, technical writers, and mainten­
ance electricians.
Training for Engineers. An introductory course in electronics was given to
53 engineers. The course was intended to provide a general competence in
electronics rather than skill in specific applications.
The classes met 2 \ hours after work, twice a week, for a period
extending over 23 months. A total of 300 hours of classes were given. The
instruction consisted of classroom lectures and discussion for about half
the time, and laboratory work for the rest.
While participation in this training course was voluntary and un­
paid, there was strong incentive for employees to take the training. Course
credit was taken into consideration in determining pay increases. Second,
since there was a limit on the number of engineers each engineering depart­
ment could send, there was some distinction in being selected.
Trainees were selected from all engineering departments--hydraulics,
blueprint preparation, technical specifications, etc. Although all trainees
were classified as engineers, as many as one out of three lacked an engineer­
ing degree. All had at least a high school education. Half of those with
degrees had the mechanical engineering degree; most of the others had degrees
in electrical, chemical, metallurgical, and aeronautical engineering.
Training for Technical Writers. A course on basic electronics designed to
familiarize technical writers with new terminology used in describing the
electronic apparatus about which they wrote was given to 38 employees. Such
knowledge was essential for adequate job performance.
Classes met 2 hours after work, twice a week for about 5 months.
The courses consisted of lectures and discussions. No laboratory work was
given. Mathematics was minimized. Of the 38 trainees, 19 were over 40 years
of age.
Training for Electronic Technicians. The third electronics course was given
to prepare maintenance electricians for new jobs in the maintenance and re­
pair of advanced electronic apparatus. In contrast to the electronics train­
ing described above, the trainees, after completion of the course, were up­
graded in pay and given the job title, industrial Electronics Technician.M




15

Classes were held on company time every morning for 3 \ hours, 5
days a week over a 4-month period. The course involved lectures on elec­
tronic theory and laboratory work with test equipment and components. While
the course material emphasized intellectual skills, the work also called for
some manual dexterity and sensori-motor coordination.
The 18 trainees in the course were selected from a group of main­
tenance electricians after careful screening. Fifty men in this position
were given an examination, testing their knowledge of AC and DC circuits,
vacuum tubes, transistors, and basic algebra. Only the 20 scoring highest
were accepted for training, most of whom had some experience maintaining
less complicated types of electronic equipment. Of this group, two left the
course before completion--one, to accept a higher paid job; another, because
of illness.
Training of Machinists. With the introduction of new weapons systems, some
machinists experienced difficulty in analyzing and interpreting symbols used
in blueprints. The foreman of the group, therefore, requested the training
department to conduct a course in blueprint reading.
The course was given during working hours, 2 hours a day for 7
days. The material presented covered explanations of the various symbols
used in blueprints and the manner of translating the symbols into the final
product.
A total of 17 machinists were selected by the foreman, after a
preliminary screening examination given by the training department. Of the
17 trainees, 10 were 45 years of age and over.
Training of Weldors. A variety of changes in welding technology necessitated
several retraining courses. Thus, new metals such as titanium and zirconium
alloys, and light gage steel are now used to which the conventional welding
technology is not applicable. Moreover, requirements for weld size and
assembly dimensions have become more critical. For example, two metal tubes
welded together end to end must not differ from an overall specified length
by more than 0.0001 inch. The angle of geometric planes of plates welded
together must not exceed 2°. Since materials are now more costly, greater
care must be exercised.
Changes in welding technology have increased the degree of skill
and knowledge required of weldors- They must have, for example, some knowl­
edge of metallurgy. They must know what causes metal distortions in order to
prevent their occurrence. Formerly, a weldor could straighten a warped sec­
tion by hammering; such a crude method is no longer tolerable.




16

The weldor uses more complex equipment, involving a higher degree
of mental and physical ability. He must adjust a larger number of variables
to achieve proper regulation of temperature, gas flow, and speed of weld.
He faces a number of special ” tooling problems,” such as welding materials
enclosed in a plastic envelope filled with inert gas, or welding an entire
section which is maintained at a temperature of 600 degrees F. He must per­
form his duties, in some cases, with one hand holding the torch and the other
feeding the welding filler; one foot governing the movement of the material
being welded and the other regulating the amperage as the weld proceeds.
The courses given were primarily designed to familiarize workers
with some background in welding with the new equipment, processes, and tech­
niques. Not all had been working primarily as weldors. Only 20 percent of
the time involved classroom lectures and discussions of the theory and back­
ground of new methods. In the practice sessions, comprising 80 percent of
the training, trainees were assigned standardized test jobs and their per­
formance on these jobs was carefully measured and appraised. A final per­
formance score was given each trainee based on the number of hours he needed
to meet U.S. Air Force standards.
Trainees had either applied voluntarily to take the course or were
recommended by their supervisor. They were selected on the basis of their
performance on a preliminary welding test.
One result of the training has been to upgrade the status of weldors.
Previously, the company did not classify welding as a separate craft or skill.
As a result of its greater importance in manufacturing technology, welding is
now recognized as a separate craft. The title “weldor” has been created and
trainees who successfully complete the training courses are certified as
”weldors.” The union asked for and obtained a separate classification and
highei pay. Today, 200 of the 240 persons engaged in welding are classified
as ’weldors.”
’
Performance in Retraining. The method used to assess che performance of train­
ees involved both practical and written tests. Thus, trainees in the optical
tooling course were graded on the accuracy of their performance using the
tool on known “targets” ; the time required to obtain the readings; and a
written examination on the characteristics of each instrument. Greatest
weight was given to the accuracy factor in calculating the overall grade.
In the electronics course for engineers, trainees were tested in
five examinations, including paper and pencil tests and evaluation of labora­
tory work. An average of these grades was used to derive an overall assessment.




17

The performance of technical writers In the electronics course was
assessed in four essay tests which involved the writing of technical descrip­
tions similar to those to be done on the job. These descriptions were scored
by means of a standard checklist covering quality, style, accuracy of the
information presented, appropriateness of examples and terminology, The
overall performance was based on an average of the tests.
The performance of trainees in the course for the development of
electronic technicians was appraised on the basis of both written examinations
and graded laboratory exercises. Fifteen grades were averaged to obtain an
overall measure of performance.
Scores on two examinations were used in appraising the performance
of machinists in the blueprint reading course: one, the screening examination
given before training began; the second, the final examination given trainees,
based on the interpretation of blueprints.
Table 4 shows the comparative performance of older and younger
workers in the five courses described above. Half of the older trainees
obtained grades above the average in only one of the six performance meas­
ures shown. A significant proportion of the older trainees, i.e., 40 percent
or more, were, however, above average in three of the courses. In the case
of the younger trainees, a majority were over the average in five of the six
courses.
Instructors in the course for electronic technicians, reported that
older trainees tended to do less well on the mathematical aspects and had
trouble with making fine adjustments. Their experience, on the other hand,
helped them in troubleshooting.
The comparative performance of older and younger trainees on four
courses for which information permits differences in education to be taken
into account, is presented in table 5. This comparison shows little differ­
ence in the performance of the two groups. On three of the four courses,
more than half of the older group was above average. In the fourth course,
the proportion was very close to one-half.
The performance of older and younger trainees in the four welding
courses is shown in table 6. Older trainees qualified in a shorter period of
time than younger trainees on two of the four courses. In each of the four
courses, at least 40 percent of the older trainees qualified in the shorter
period of time. According to course instructors, previous relevant experience
probably accounted for the superior performance of the older trainees in these
courses.




18

Table 4.

Training courses at an aircraft plant: Comparative performance of
older and younger trainees on tests
Older trainees \ J

Younger trainees

Percent

Percent
Course

Number
of
trainees

Above
aver­
age
grade

Below
aver­
age
grade

Number
of
trainees

Above
aver­
age
grade

Below
aver­
age
grade

1. Optical tooling for
assemblers 2/ ........

24

79

21

22

36

64

2. Introduction to elec­
tronics for engineers .

36

53

47

17

47

53

3. Basic electronics for
technical writers ....

19

53

47

19

42

58

A. Electronic technician,
transition and
development ••••••••••»

9

67

33

9

33

67

5. Blueprint reading I for
machinists ...........

9

78

22

8

25

75

6. Blueprint reading II for
machinists

9

44

56

8

50

50

1/ In courses 1, 2, and 3, older trainees included those over 40;
in course 4, those over 35; and in courses 5 and 6, those 50 and over.
2/ Only a pass or fail grade in attaining accuracy was given in
this course. Consequently, the numbers below and above do not evenly divide
the entire group.




19

Table 5. Training courses at an aircraft plant: Comparative performance
of older and 3^ounger trainees on tests, with differences in
education taken into account
Older trainees \ /

Younger trainees

Percent

Percent
Course

1.

2.

3.

4.

Number
of
trainees

Above
aver­
age
grade

B e 1ow
aver­
age
grade

Number
of
trainees

Above
aver­
age
grade

Below
aver­
age
grade

Introduction tc
electronics for
engineers ...........

34

56

44

17

53

47

Basic electronics for
technical writers ...

14

57

43

19

47

53

Electronic technician
transition and
development ........

6

33

67

8

62

38

Blueprint reading II
for machinists .....

6

67

33

6

67

33

1/

See footnote 1, table 4




20

Table 6. Training courses given to weldors at aircraft plant:
Percent of older and younger trainees, above and below
median time needed to achieve certification

\f
In course 1, older trainees included those 45 and over; In
course ?, over 4 0 ; in course 3, over 35; and in course 4, 40 and over.




21

Retraining of Airline Maintenance Mechanics
The third study concerns the retraining of 1,200 workers at the
central maintenance facility of one of the Nation's largest airlines. The
workers covered by the data were men employed in the maintenance and over­
haul operations.
Nature of the Technological Change. The introduction of turbine and jet
aircraft into commercial airline operations made necessary extensive retrain­
ing of mechanics engaged in maintenance and overhaul operations. Although
airline workers were accustomed to relatively frequent changes in equipment,
the shift to jets constituted a major change, more far-reaching than those
previously experienced.
A brief comparison of some specifications of piston and jet planes
highlights the greater complexities of the new equipment that created the
need for retraining. Specifications on the jet are more rigid; the various
control systems, more complicated; and the permissible amount of error,
smaller. Fart of the electrical circuits of the jet is basically a 220-volt
a.c. system; part, 11C-volt a.c. system; and part uses lower d.c. voltage;
the piston plane uses a 28-volt d.c. system. The jets use 3,000 psi hydrau­
lic system; the piston, a 2,000 psi system.
These technological changes had important implications for the skill
and training of maintenance workers. While the same type of physical abilities
and manual skills were needed, work on the more complicated jets required
greater precision in maintaining the hydraulic system and more care in over­
hauling the electrical system. Workers needed to know about the jet planes
themselves and about the special tools and instruments used in maintaining
and overhauling them. Since both the aircraft and the maintenance equipment
are being constantly modified, retraining and refresher courses are needed to
keep workers up to date.
Retraining Courses. The changeover to jet planes was made gradually, starting
with the delivery of 2 planes and building up to a total of 30. Small groups
of workers consequently were retrained as they were needed. The first group
of trainees had the most difficulty in retraining because it was necessary to
begin before the jets were actually delivered. About 95 percent of the main­
tenance employees are now qualified to work on jets.
Administration of the training program was the responsibility of the
training department. The procedure generally followed was for a training
staff employee to visit the aircraft manufacturer to familiarize himself with
the course material. On his return, he would organize the course, submit a
training proposal to the department which requested the training and finally
teach the course. Training by the vendor of the equipment was used occasion­
ally when training on a particular aspect of the aircraft was needed immediate­
ly and when no member of the training staff was qualified to provide it.




22

The data covered by this study relate to 228 courses dealing with
various aspects of aircraft maintenance and overhaul. They ranged from
relatively brief Mfamiliarization" sessions taking 6 hours to detailed tech­
nical courses lasting 260 hours. Each class was limited to 10 persons.
Where training had to be given to more than 10, the course was repeated.
Courses in equipment maintenance covered both classroom and prac­
tical instruction. First, classes and lectures were held where the equipment
was described and visual aids used to illustrate the procedures used in ser­
vicing the equipment. The practical work involved servicing in-service
equipment. In courses on overhaul operations, for example, the equipment used
came from a plane currently being overhauled. Upon completion of the opera­
tion, the equipment was tested, using appropriate testing devices, and put
into service on the plane from which it was taken.
For purposes of this study, the 228 courses were classified into
6 levels, according to the number of hours of instruction given. Table 7
shows the number of courses and the number of trainees in each level. In
order to illustrate the nature of the courses given at the various levels,
the titles of selected courses are shown in table 8.
Because over 200 courses were given, with an average of only six
trainees in each, it was not feasible to present the findings for each course.
The procedure followed, therefore, was to count each course as a single obser­
vation, and to classify it according to the performance experience of older
trainees. These data on trainees in each course were analyzed to determine
whether the scores of the older 50 percent of the trainees fell above the
median course grade more often, equally often, or less often than the younger
trainees. Courses in which the range in grades was less than 5 points and/or
the range of ages was less than 5 years were not included.
The results, by course level, are summarized in table 9. Older
trainees did better than younger trainees in a majority of the courses given
on only one course level. P t every level, however, older trainees did better
on at least 20 percent of the courses. When the comparisons are made on the
basis of courses where older trainees did equally as well or better than
younger trainees, the overlapping becomes more pronounced: older workers did
equally as well as younger in a majority of the courses on two levels; and in
at least one-third, on all but one level.




23

Table 7.

Airline:

Level of courses and number of courses and trainees

Number of
courses

Course level

A11
i
2
3
4
5
6

levels ...................
..........................
..........................
..........................
..........................
..........................
..........................

Table 8.

228
8
45
45
82
21
27

Number of
trainees

..
.

__349

Representative course titles, by level

Course title

Level

i .........

39
286
268
476
140
140

Equipment, Plant— Test Stand No. 7205*
Stationary Hydraulic Rotating ..... .............

Hours

8

2 .........

Jet Airliner-Structures, Familiarization ........
Jet Airliner-Engine Accessories Overhaul ........

24
24

3 .........

Jet Airliner--Interior Overhaul Familiarization ...
Jet Airliner— Alternator Constant Speed Drive
Mechanical Components Overhaul ..................

40

Jet Airliner— Engine Final Assembly ..............
Jet Airliner— Structure Overhaul .................
Jet Airliner--Engine, Hagnaflux, Zyglo, Rework
and Part Inspection .............................

80
80

4 .........

s .........

6 .........

36

64

Turbojet Airliner--Electrical General Maintenance .
Jet Airliner--Miscellaneous Systems Overhaul
(Powerplant) ....................................

160

General Aircraft--Gyro Instrument Overhaul .......

240




112

24

Table 9.

Airline maintenance workers: Distribution of courses according to
comparative performance of older trainees

Course
level

i
2
3
4
5
6

..........
..........
..........
..........
..........
..........

Number
of
courses

Number
of
trainees

8
45
45
82
21
27

39
286
268
476
140
140

Percent of courses showing
that older trainees did--_l/
Better
than younger
trainees

Equally
as well as
younger
trainees

Not as
well as
younger
trainees

75.0
20.0
28.8
29.3
23.8
33.3

12.5
11.1
4.5
15.9
14.3
18.5

12.5
68.9
66.7
54.8
61.9
48.2

1/ Percentages were computed on the basis of counting each course
as a single observation. Data on the performance of trainees in each course
were analyzed to determine whether the scores of the older half of the train­
ees fell above the median course grade more often, equally often, or less
often than the younger trainees. Excluded are 24 courses in which the total
range in grades is less than 5 points and/or the total range of ages is less
than 5 years.




25

Retraining of Telephone Operators
The fourth study concerns the retraining of several hundred long­
distance telephone operators, employed by a telephone company servicing the
population of one of the North Central States. The operators were employed
in toll centers in different parts of the State. Although there were about
60 toll centers, data on retraining were available only for operators working
in 10 specific offices. All the operators studied were women. Their ages
ranged between 18 and 60.
Nature of the Technological Change. The change that required the retraining
of operators resulted indirectly from the introduction of electronic data
processing in the accounting operations. In order to process bills for long­
distance calls on computers, the company had to modify drastically the methods
used by operators to record the original data on calls.
Prior to the introduction of the new accounting procedures, long­
distance operators wrote the telephone numbers involved in a call on a small
paper form. Both the caller's number and the number called were recorded
together with other information needed for proper billing. The paper forms
served as a short-term, memory-aiding device which the operator could consult
while completing the call. Also, the form was used by the accounting depart­
ment in billing customers.
Under the new electronic system, an IBM card was substituted for
the paper form. Operators are now required to record information on calls by
marking appropriate spaces on the IBM card with a special pencil, rather than
writing the figures on a piece of paper. This is known as the mark-sensing
procedure. The card is then forwarded to the accounting department for proc­
essing on the electronic computer.
This procedural innovation, although superficially simple, changed
greatly the routine manual duties of the operators. Instead of writing num­
bers on slips of paper, the operator now reads down a series of vertical
columns, making a mark in 1 of 10 alternative spaces for each letter or digit
of the number. The number is read horizontally. Since the marks must be
placed accurately within narrow limits if the card is to be processed properly
on the computer, the operator must exercise care, requiring fine sensori-motor
coordination. Also, the operator must make the marking both rapidly and accu­
rately. If it is not done rapidly, service will be delayed. If mistakes are
made in marking, errors will be made in billing.




26

Retraining Programs. The change in duties required a 2-day period of retrain­
ing for each operator. This training was given by office personnel who had
been previously instructed in the new procedure by personnel from the training
department.
Two types of retraining were given, both involving "learning by
doing." The first dealt with the development of manual skill in marking
cards; the second, with the development of skill in interpreting the markings
on IBM cards.
In training operators in marking cards, a control operator--one for
every two trainees--made calls to trainees, using standard telephone appara­
tus and the same kind of information that would be used in an actual work
situation. The calls were made at the trainee's maximum speed. The trainee
was required to record the appropriate information on the IBM card and place
the call in the standard manner.
The second phase of the retraining involved the use of marked IBM
cards as a short-term memory device in placing calls. Each trainee was re­
quired to place calls which had been recorded on a deck of 30 IBM cards.
Speed and accuracy were emphasized.
Performance in Retraining. The performance of individuals on the retraining
programs for marking and interpreting cards was appraised on the basis of
various quantitative measures.
In appraising the performance in marking cards, five measures were
computed for each trainee: Total number of tickets marked; total number of
errors (mark placed in the wrong box); total number of items omitted; the
number of omissions per card; and an index of marking efficiency (i.e., the
difference between the total number of tickets marked and the sum of errors
and omissions).
For each measure, the proportions of trainees in different age groups
whose performance was above and below average were computed. In determining
whether an individual's performance score was above or below average, the
score (except the total errors measure) was compared with the median for the
particular office where the trainee worked. Since the dirtribution of scores
varied somewhat from office to office, the range of above average perform­
ances also differed among offices. The age distribution of trainees, however,
did not differ significantly from office to office. Neither did the quality
of equipment vary.




27

Table 10 shows that the proportion of trainees with above average
scores declined with increasing age on 4 of the 5 performance measures. In
the 45 and over age group, less than half of the trainees marked more than
average number of tickets; omitted fewer than average number of items; had
fewer than average omissions per card; and had a higher than average index
of marking efficiency. On the other hand, more than half of older trainees
(45 and over) achieved above average performance scores on the measure based
on errors: i.e., had less than the average number of errors. The smaller
number of cards marked by older trainees may be attributable to the greater
care taken. It is noteworthy that of the age group 35-44, at least 40 per­
cent of the trainees had achieved above-average scores in all five tests.
Since differences in educational background are sometimes said to
account for variability in training performance, an effort was made to take
account of such marking comparisons. Table 11 shows the comparative perform­
ance, by age, of operators with 8 to 11 years of education; table 12, of
operators with 12 years or more of education. Older trainees among those
with 8 to 11 years of education did not do as well, as a group, as younger
trainees on all five tests of performance. Among those with 12 years or more
of education, however, trainees 45 and over did better than younger age groups
on one test; i.e., number of errors. Moreover, while older trainees did not
do as well as younger age groups on the four other tests, the differences in
overall performance tended to be smaller.
Table 13 shows the comparative performance of trainees on tests in­
volving interpretation of tickets. Information was available on speed and
errors in performance using old and new methods. Trainees, 45 years and over,
as a group, did not do as well as younger trainees. On the new method, older
operators are slower than younger operators and make a larger number of errors.
It is noteworthy, however, that the performance record of older trainees, based
on errors using the old method of interpreting tickets, was about the same as
the record for younger trainees. This suggests that, with further experience
usjng the new method, older trainees would probably achieve about the same
level of performance with respect to errors as younger trainees.
A particularly important finding was the variability in performance
among all age groups. Some older trainees achieved higher scores than some
younger trainees. This was found to be the case on every test for which data
are shown.
In summary, older trainees, as a group, did not perform on tests as
well as younger trainees. The training involved tasks requiring some sensori­
motor coordination where ability tends to be affected by aging. Nevertheless,
some older trainees did better than some younger trainees. Moreover, when
differences in formal education are taken into account, differences in per­
formance were generally not as great.




28

Table 10.

Telephone operator trainees: Level of performance on various
measures, by age group

Age group (percent)
18-24

25-34

35-44

45
and
over

Number of tickets marked:
Above average performance 1/ ...........
Below average performance ..............

54.0
46.0

51.5
48.5

41.4
58.6

25.5
74.5

Total number of errors:
Above average performance ..............
Below average performance ..............

43.7
56.3

49.5
50.5

58.6
41.4

52.7
47.3

Total number of omissions:
Above average performance ..............
Below average performance .... . ........

62.5
37.5

59.4
40.6

58.6
41.4

40.0
60.0

Ratio of omissions to tickets marked:
Above average performance ..............
Below average performance ..............

55.7
44.3

52.0
48.0

47.1
52.9

29.1
70.9

Marking efficiency index:
Above average performance ..............
Below average performance ..............

59.7
40.3

53.0
47.0

42.9
57.1

27.3
72.7

Number of trainees ....................

176

202

70

55

Measure and performance level

1/ nAbove average performance" indicates superior performance.
Thus, it indicates that the number of tickets marked was greater than the
average (median), and that the index of marking efficiency was higher than
the average; also, that the total number of errors, total number of omissions,
and the ratio of omissions to tickets marked was less than the average.




29

Table 11. Telephone operator trainees:
Level of performance of trainees
with 8-11 years of education, on various measures, by age group

Age group (percent)
18-24

25-34

35-44

45
and
over

Number of tickets marked:
Above average performance 1/ ...........
Below average performance ..............

57.6
42.4

51.6
48.4

33.3
66.7

19.3
80.7

Total number of errors:
Above average performance ..............
Below average performance ............. .

45.4
54.6

64.5
35.5

61.9
38.1

38.7
61.3

Total number of omissions:
Above average performance ..............
Below average performance ..............

63.6
36.4

77.4
22.6

61.9
38.1

45.2
54.8

Ratio of omissions to tickets marked:
Above average performance ..............
Below average oerformance ..............

51.5
48.5

61.3
38.7

38.1
61.9

25.8
74.2

Marking efficiency index:
Above average performance ..............
Below average performance ..............

60.6
39.4

67.7
32.3

47.6
52.4

22.6
77.4

Number of trainees ....................

33

31

21

31

Measure and level of performance

1/

See footnote 1, table 10.




30

Table 12. Telephone operator trainees:
Level of performance in various
measures, of trainees with 12 years or more of education, by age group

Age group (percent)
Measure and level of performance
18-24

25-34

35-44

45
and
over

Number of tickets marked:
Above average performance 1/ ...........
Below average performance ..............

53.5
46.5

52.5
47.5

45.4
54.6

38.9
61.1

Total number of errors:
Above average performance ..............
Below average performance ..............

43.7
56.3

48.7
51.3

63.6
36.4

77.8
22.2

Total number of omissions:
Above average performance ..............
Below average performance ..............

62.7
37.3

56.3
43.7

54.6
45.4

27.8
72.2

Ratio of omissions to tickets marked:
Above average performance ..............
Below average performance ..............

57.0
43.0

50.0
50.0

52.3
47.7

38.9
61.1

SO . 0

Marking efficiency index:
Above average performance ..............
Below average performance ..............

40.1

50.0
50.0

40.9
59.1

38.9
61.1

Number of trainees ....................

142

158

44

18




1/

See footnote 1, table 10.

31

Table 13.

Telephone operator trainees:
Level of performance on tests
interpreting tickets, by age group

Age group (percent)
Tests and level of performance
18-24

25-34

35-44

45
and
over

52.2
47.8

52.7
47.3

50.9
49.1

33.3
66.7

Errors using old method:
Above average performance 2/ ...........
Below average performance ..............

63.0
37.0

68.5
31.5

69.1
30.9

64.9
35.1

Speed using new method:
Above average performance 1/ ...........
Below average performance ..............

60.9
39.1

54.6
45.4

38.2
61.8

28.1
71.9

Errors using new method:
Above average performance 2/ ............
Below average performance ..............

56.5
43.5

60.6
39.4

60.0
40.0

39.3
60.7

Speed difference:
3/
Above average performance ...............
Below average performance .... ..........

55.4
44.6

54.6
45.4

49.1
50.9

31.8
68.2

Number of trainees ....................

92

165

55

57

Speed using old method:
Above average performance 1/
Below average performance.... . .........

i
i

1/ nAbove average performance" signifies that speed in interpreting
cards was higher than average.
27 "Above average perf ormance1 signifies that accuracy was better
1
than average, i.e., fewer errors were made.
3/ ’Above average performance” means that the difference between
’
speeds on new and old method was smaller than average. "Below average per­
formance" signifies that the difference was greater than average, i.e., more
time needed for new method.







33

Selected Bibliography

Publications of the U.S. Government:
Adjustments to the Introduction of Office Automation, BLS Bulletin 1276,
1960.
Comparative Job Performance by Age: Large Plants in Men’s Footwear and
Household Furniture Irdi*stries, BLS Bulletin 1223, 1957.
Comparative Job Performance by Age:
1960.

Office Workers, BLS Bulletin 1273,

Employment Security and Retirement of the Older Worker. Reports and
Guidelines from the White House Conference on Aging, Series No. 3.
U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Special Staff on
Aging, April 1961.
Training Mature Women for Employment, Bulletin 256.
Labor, Women’s Bureau, 1956.

U.S. Department of

Books and Periodicals
Abrams, A. J., ’Training of Older Persons Through Correspondence and
’
Private Trade Schools," Enriching the Years. New York Joint Legis­
lative Committee on Problems of the Aging, 1953, pp. 158-168.
Barkin, Solomon., "Job Redesign: A Technique for an Era of Full Employment," Manpower in the United States, W. Haber, editor, New York,
Harper, 1954.
Belbin, Eunice., "Methods of Training Older Workers," Ergonomics«
July 1958, pp. 207-221.
Birren, J. E., "Age Changes in Skill and Learning," Earning Opportunities
for Older Workers. Ann Arbor, The University of Michigan Press, 1955,
pp. 62-74.
Clark, S. D., The Employability of the Older Worker: A Review of Research
Findings. Ottawa, Canada, Economics and Research Branch, Department of
Labour, 1959.
Donahue, Wilma T., "Learning Motivation, Education of the Aging,"
Psychological Aspects of Aging, J. E. Anderson, editor, Washington, D.C.,
American Psychological Association, 1956, pp. 200-206.




34

Donahue, Wilma T . , "Adult Learning: Limits and Potentialities," Auto­
mation and the Challenge to Education, Luther H. Evans and George E.
Arnstein, editors, Washington, D.C., National Education Association,
January 1962, pp. 19-37.
Gordon, Margaret S., "The Older Worker and Hiring Practices," Monthly
Labor Review, November 1959, pp. 1198-1205.
Greenberg, Leon, "Productivity of Older Workers," The Gerontologist%
March 1961, pp. 38-41.
Heron A., "Psychology, Occupation, and Age," Occupational Psychology»
January 1958, pp. 21-25.
Lorge, Irving, "Intelligence and Learning in Aging," Aging, A Current
Appraisal, I. L. Webber, editor, Gainesville, Florida, University of
Florida Press, 1956, pp. 51-62.
McFarland, Ross A. and Brian M. O'Doherty, "Work and Occupational Skills,"
Handbook of Aging and the Individual» J. E. Birren, editor, Chicago,
University cf Chicago Press, 1959, pp. 452-500.
Odell, C. E., "Aptitudes and Work Performance of Older Workers,"
Psychological Aspects of Aging, J. E. Anderson, editor, Washington, D.C.,
American Psychological Association, 1956, pp. 240-244.
Shooter, A. M., A. E. D. Schonfield, H. F. King, and A. T. Welford, "Some
Field Data on the Training of Older People," Occupational Psychology,
October 1956, pp. 204-215.
Sprague, Norman, Implications of Automation and Technological Development
for the Employment of Older Workers: A Preliminary Selected Bibliog­
raphy , New York, National Council on Aging, 1962.
Stabler, Abraham, "The Older Worker, Job Problems and Their Solution,"
Monthly Labor Review, January 1957, pp. 22-30.
Tannenbaum, Arnold 3., and Gary Grenholm, "Adaptability of Older Workers
to Technological Change," International Bulletin of Applied Psychology,
July-December 1962.
Welford, A. T., Aging and Human Skill.
1958.




London, Oxford University Press,

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V .,

P R IN T IN G O F F IC E : 196 3 0 - r 6 9 0 1 9 8