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Campaign offers free seminars

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

The Clean Air Campaign, the region's non-profit transportation management associations and RideSmart are planning a series of "Lunch and Learn" events for area employers.

The free seminars, starting in March, will provide strategies and expert advice to employers for coping with the flagging economy through commute alternative programs.

"Employers are focused on making the best use of the resources they have as they search for creative ideas to weather the economic downturn," said Kevin Green, executive director of The Clean Air Campaign. "Helping the workforce get out of traffic and find better ways to get to work such as carpooling, taking transit or teleworking is a strategy that brings immediate benefits to an employer's bottom line through increased productivity."

Beginning March 12, the Campaign will help host one of its first Lunch and Learn seminars of the year, called "Alternative Ways to Work." The seminar will address how employers can offer flexible work hours, compressed work weeks and teleworking as a part of their respective business strategies.

The Clean Air Campaign says about 80 employers joined its group between July and December 2008, a 65 percent increase over the same period in 2007.

Two of those employers, Ecolab and Ozburn Hessey Logistics, are located in McDonough.

"Since last year, and continuing into 2009, more employers are searching for ideas to bring financial relief and get their employees out of gridlock," Green said. "We welcome all of our new employers and applaud their commitment to reduce traffic congestion and improve quality of life for their employees."

The Campaign's employer service program is part of a multi-tiered effort to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality in the 20-county region. The program includes commuter incentives, no-idling initiatives and public education.

The Campaign, a not-for-profit organization, is one of 10 different transportation management associations in metro Atlanta which collaborate to offer the employer-based programs. The group with some 1,600 area employers and claims to reduce roughly 1.2 million miles of daily vehicle travel while eliminating 600 tons of air pollution.

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On the net:

Clean Air Campaign: www.CleanAirCampaign.

com