Historical Content Note: The following material is reprinted from publications from throughout Fermilab's history. It should be read in its original historical context.

TAT Has Powerful Impact

In Appreciation,

We the trainees from the first training program (TAT, begun Feb. 9, 1969) would like to take this time to express our thanks to those who helped to make it possible for our group to become productive and worthwhile citizens.

Having come out of an environment that was not scientific or technically oriented, we have found that given the opportunity and guidance to achieve, it can be done. We have found that prejudice is not environmental but rather an individual thing and need not exist where people truly have an understanding of themselves in relation to their environment. We have learned, in more ways than one, what it means to be a worthwhile and productive citizen within the framework of our jobs and our communities.

That letter, sent last month to Fermilab on the approach of the 12th anniversary of the Training and Technology Project (TAT), was signed by Clarence Bowling, Cutchlow Cahill, Roy Justice, Jeffrey Ruffin, Nelson Sample, Elbert Smith Jr. and Edward Stitts, all Fermilab employees. They have been with Fermilab since the beginning of their TAT training. The eighth signer, Jimmie Bondurant, is an electrician with Local 461 in Aurora.

They are 8 of 24 young men who were selected from the Chicago metropolitan area to participate in the TAT project, an interagency agreement at that time between the Atomic Energy Commission and the U. S. Department of Labor under the Manpower Development and Training Act. The men all had several things in common: the drive, determination and tenacity to learn and to want to make something of themselves. They also came from areas within the city, perhaps best described as inner city neighborhoods where a helping hand frequently is needed to break free. TAT was that helping hand for many of them.

On that fateful day, Feb. 9, 12 years ago, a Delta airliner left from Chicago's O'Hare Field for the AEC facility at Oak Ridge, Tenn. As Fermilab trainees, they would soon begin an intensive training and education program there preparing them for a variety of jobs at Fermilab. The Laboratory here, of course, was being constructed at that time and was not as well equipped to work with trainees as was Oak Ridge.

The curriculum there was custom designed for each member of this first group, running from 13 to 36 weeks, but averaging about 30 weeks. When their training was completed, they returned to Fermilab to begin working as full-time employees. These final 24 were picked from an applicant pool of more than 100 candidates.

Chuck Marofske, now head of Laboratory Services Section and then manager of personnel, explained in an interview published in the March 1969 issue of The Village Crier (now called FERMINEWS): "We have a strong commitment to provide opportunities for minorities at all levels of the Laboratory, and we are pleased by this opportunity to cooperate in an unusual and promising endeavor with one of the AEC facilities at Oak Ridge."

But the dimension of this drama that reaches across 12 years of time is far more profound. It has to do with the influence of TAT and Fermilab on the lives of these men who broke new ground. The letter they wrote that begins this article gives the broad overview, but for each man, of course, the specifics are different.

FERMINEWS interviewed several of the men who signed the letter. Here is what they say.

CLARENCE BOWLING is a senior technician with the Energy Saver Division. He assists in the production and fabrication of superconducting coils. "TAT training has helped me considerably, especially in the mechanical field. The training I received made me aware of the opportunities and advances that could be made in the realm of technology. My experience at Fermilab has been very enlightening. I've learned a great deal about people, and that communication is very important no matter what job you're employed at. Through the years, there have been trials and tribulations, but my past experience has helped me to endure and overcome many of them."

ROY JUSTICE, an electronics technician with the Physics Section, said TAT and Fermilab had a considerable influence on his life. "I got to experience a world totally different from the one I grew up in. It has meant growth for me as an individual and has helped me accept people for themselves."

JEFFREY RUFFIN is a senior electronics technician with the Radio Frequency Department of the Accelerator Division. For him, "TAT was the vehicle that got me in the door. TAT and Fermilab have encouraged my motivation and helped provide me with foresight for my future." Ruffin also extended his "thanks to everyone who helped."

NELSON SAMPLE, a machinist in the machine shop at Wilson Hall, said, "TAT training and the 12 years of experience at Fermilab have been very instrumental in the way I approach everday life."

EDWARD STITTS is with the Accelerator Division's Control Group. He is a senior electronics technician whose primary responsibility is the Energy Saver microprocessor control vacuum and refrigeration systems. "Fermilab has been the basis of how things have gone for me," he said. "It provides me with my livelihood and has supplied a lot of growing up knowledge, especially in the spirit of dealing with different types of people. I was given an opportunity that if I had passed up, I wouldn't be who or where I am today."

As they are today, (L-R) Warren Cannon, Jimmie Bondurant, Joyce Curry, Nelson Sample, Roy Justice, Cutchlow Cahill, Elbert Smith, Edward Stitts, Jeffrey Ruffin and Clarence Bowling. Cannon and Curry are the last two of the original TAT administration that helped organize this impressive program for Fermilab. Cannon now is senior personnel administrator with Personnel and Curry is a personnel administrator with the Equal Employment Opportunity Office here (1 of 2)
Twelve years ago at O'Hare Field just before departure to Oak Ridge, Tenn. (2 of 2)