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The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded Lifetime Products Inc. its Western States Regional Literacy Award for "Outstanding Workplace Program."

Lifetime Products, which is located in the Freeport Center and employs 135 people, manufactures the Lifetime brand adjustable basketball standards. The company received the award at a recent Western Regional Literacy Conference in Denver.In September 1988, the firm, after noticing a deficiency in math skills, began teaching 21 new employees math and psychology courses to improve their job performance. The "custom fit" program was sponsored through the Davis Area Vocational Center and the State Office of Education. State funding was used to help pay for the training.

"Finally, as an incentive, a bonus to their employees was given to encourage them to successfully complete the course. The employees are the beneficiaries of the U.S. Department of Labor's `Outstanding Workplace program,' " a news release said.

At the conclusion of the six-week course, improvement in attitude and math skills was noted.