LOS ANGELES COUNTY : Work-at-Home Program Gets $100,000 Grant

A Los Angeles County program that allows employees to work from home several days a week has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Ford Foundation.

The county's telecommuting program, launched in 1989, was one of 10 programs singled out nationally for being especially effective at meeting public needs at the state and local level. About 2,600 county employees participate in the program by working from home two or three days a week via computer, beeper and fax machine.

The Los Angeles program was cited for its success in boosting job productivity. According to the county assessor's office, participants processed their work 64% faster than in-office workers and their productivity rose 34%.

It is also estimated that the program has helped to reduce air pollution caused by auto emissions, saving 10 million commuting miles and 38 years of travel time in its first year alone. Those savings rose by 76% during the program's second year.

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