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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Businesses across America are undergoing a revolutionary transformation, officials at the University of Tennessee’s Center for Industrial Services said Friday.

Top-to-bottom management styles of the past are giving way to networks of small work groups, Ron Rader, CIS training manager, said.

To assist in the transition, CIS is offering a team specialist certification program to Tennessee companies.

“This program will enable employees to take more responsibility and will empower them to become more accountable,” said Rader.

Such programs build trust, openness and effective problem solving throughout the organization, he said.

“Anyone who expects to contribute to a group now or in the future will find the program helpful,” he said.

To become a certified team specialist, program participants must successfully complete six courses in a two-year period.

“This is an opportunity for people who can’t stop their operations long enough for me to go spend a day with their people,” said Rader, who holds on-site training and consultations with companies on a regular basis.

“Companies can send employees two and three at a time to this certification program,” he said. “It’s a nice, easy way for companies to gain continual professional development in two-day chunks.”

The six fall programs in Knoxville are:

* Sept. 10-11 — The manager as leader.

* Sept. 24-25 — Leading team meetings.

* Oct. 8-9 — Basic facilitator skills.

* Oct. 22-23 — Optimizing team performance.

* Nov. 5-6 — Communication skills for teams.

* Nov. 19-20 — Decision making for teams.

The registration fee is $295 and includes professional certification instruction, participant materials, refreshment breaks, and a personalized plaque upon program completion.

Companies sending three or more participants from the same plant location can receive a discounted registration fee of $265 per person.

Enrollment is limited. Pre-registration by fax with a company authorization letter is recommended. The workshops will be held at Quality Inn-West, 7621 Kingston Pike.

Information is available from Rader at (423) 974-3018.