Gary E. Truhn
A little about me...
68 years old
Happily married for 47 years
Two successfully settled children
Four wonderful grandchildren
Have lived in my current home since 1954
Professional photographer and ordained minister
Retired from General Motors Skilled Trades after 44 years.
Multi-certified adult education trainer/developer
Developer/Instructor at a UAW/GM training center for 16 years
Owner operator of North Oakland Training Enterprises
My involvement in training and development
UAW/GM Truck 1985-2000
Employee Development Center
Center for Educational Development And Research Services
NOTE 2003 -
North Oakland Training Enterprises
Keys To Effective Learning
My involvement with CEDARS and John Green began as an attendee of the
KTEL program in early 1983. Traditionally, at the end of the KTEL program,
Mr. Green always asked if there were anything else that any of the
students wanted. I raised my hand and said, “I want your job” giving both
the class and John a good laugh. ** Using the skills I gained in KTEL I
educated myself in the computer field, succeeding to the extent that I
acquired a UAW/GM training position two and a half years later.
I become a trainer
In the fall of 1985, I was approached by local UAW leadership to become
a trainer/developer in their computer education program. Though I had
my share of the common fear of public speaking, I was armed with the
total confidence that (thanks to KTEL) I could share my knowledge with
others. I accepted the union appointment and joined the staff of the
UAW/GM training center which was providing a wide variety of educational
opportunities to its 14,000+ members and their families.
Over time I attended and completed Professional trainer/developer
courses taught at GMI (General Motors Institute). I also acquired
certifications in Instructional Design, Instructional Techniques and Needs
Analysis through a nationally recognized trainer certification company;
Langiven Learning Services.
Over the span of years that I was involved in the computer training
program I successfully completed dozens of computer classes at GMI, now
known as Kettering University in Flint, Michigan and at New Horizons
Computer Training in Southfield. There were numerous other classes
taken at locations both local and out of state.
With the knowledge gained, my fellow instructors and I developed, wrote
the manuals for and delivered a host of 12-week long computer courses
using both the PC and Mac platforms. The courses ranged from good old
DOS and Basic programming, to AutoCad, Desktop publishing, various
versions of the Windows Operating System and the Microsoft Office Suite.
Several of the courses were taught at both beginning and advanced levels.
In the early 90's, the UAW and GM launched the "New Beginnings"
program. This program allowed employees that had not finished high
school to attend a high school that was created in the plant and staffed by
our training center, along with teachers from two local school districts.
Over 400 students earned their high school diplomas (not a GED).
During this program, due to the state requirement of a computer class for
high school graduation, my fellow trainers and I were certified as Adult
Education instructors by the Pontiac and Hazel Park school districts.
Another segment of the New Beginnings program allowed employees to go
full-time to college. There were hundreds of Associates, Bachelors and
Masters degrees earned. We even had a fellow who finished his PhD
shortly after the New Beginnings program ended.
Now back to KTEL
A great number of the employees in the New Beginnings program attended
KTEL as a foundation to their involvement in the high school completion
and college programs. There was a lot of very positive feedback from
them as to the effectiveness of KTEL study skills and associated
As the CEDARS corporation was delivering KTEL several times a year at
our training center, it was easy for me to remain involved with Mr. Green
and the program. I often had the opportunity to sit in the back of the class
and audit it. Occasionally Mr. Green would engage me to fill in as a drill
partner when he had an odd number of attendees.
In 1995, a decision was made by local Union officials and GM management
to bring the delivery of the KTEL course ‘in-house’. CEDARS agreed to a
T3 (train the trainer) contract to accomplish that aim. Mr. Green felt he
could successfully apprentice me to deliver his program.
Due to having to divide my time between computer instruction and the
KTEL apprenticeship, it took two years but I was able to take over full-time
delivery of KTEL in 1997. ** Though it took 12 years, I am happy to say… I
did get Mr. Green’s job.
KTEL ends its long run at GM Truck in Pontiac
Due to divisional down sizing and cost cutting in 2001, the KTEL course
was terminated at our training center. I left the training department and
went back into the plant as a skilled tradesman. But this turn of events put
me in an awkward position of having a terrific program to deliver and no
place to deliver it.
From 2001 through 2003 I continued to work with Mr. Green at CEDARS in
Flint to develop and deliver TIP (Think In Phonics), a phonetic based
reading program. I helped him teach clients ranging in age from teens to
senior adults to read. For that program CEDARS contracted primarily with
the state of Michigan’s Michigan Rehabilitation Services Flint office.
The beginnings of TLC and N. O. T. E.
Over the many years that John and I delivered the Keys course as a 40-
hour paid class to GM employees, there were two recurring complaints
from our students. The first complaint was that the company would not pay
for them to take the class a second time. The second complaint was that
the employees could not get the class for their families.
The solution arrives; drawing on my background and skill with computers I
created a CD ROM based version of the program. Over the years, since it
has evolved into the TLC program. It is the entire program in a form which
students can take with them when the course is finished. The CD was
conceived and designed to act as both a review vehicle for the student
and as an empowerment tool to help them share the program with others.
Six years ago I launched North Oakland Training Enterprises, located in
Waterford Michigan. I kept my skills up doing a bit of tutoring and
continued to develop and teach the TLC (KTEL) program. I have also
continued doing bit of tutoring in phonetic reading skills.
Mr. Green ceased his operations of the CEDARS corporation in 2005 and
moved on to a well-earned retirement. In parting he gave me his
blessings to develop TLC, The Learning Course based on the KTEL
materials. Unfortunately we lost touch with each other, and I was recently
told by a mutual acquaintance that John passed away in 2007.
I now find myself in a position to retire from GM and devote more of my
attention to this work. I look forward to meeting with anyone interested in
this material and answering any and all of questions about it.