Rockwell Automation Named Standards Recognition Entity

By Logan Wamsley

“Let’s imagine a fully automated production line, able to meet the demands of medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, food and other products necessary to maintain the basic lifestyle of our modern society,” wrote Rockwell Automation in a recent blog. “As input, we only supply energy and the raw materials. As output, we will have final goods. Imagine being able to control such a facility remotely, without the need for humans on the shop floor. And if we could ensure self-maintenance and easy production line reconfiguration, wouldn’t that solve some of the problems we are experiencing today, due to the coronavirus crisis?”

Rockwell Automation believes so, and through additional company initiatives, they appear to have every intention of proving it and making such an ambitious future a reality.

For example, Rockwell, along with FANUC, APT Manufacturing Solution, and the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) has just been named a Standards Recognition Entity (SRE) by the U.S. Department of Labor. SREs are third-party industry and workforce leaders that evaluate and recognize high-quality industry-recognized apprenticeship programs (IRAPs).

“Expanding apprenticeships means more job opportunities for American workers,” Assistant Secretary of Employment and Training John Pallasch said. “During this time of economic change, it’s important to create better access to good-paying careers for America’s workforce.”

For their part, Rockwell and its partners are focusing on an apprenticeship program focused on robotics and advanced automation, reports Industry Week, in effect, contributing significantly to the creation of a future workforce needed to support such technologies. Over the past decade, Rockwell has helped create a network of educational partners that includes more than 1,200 high school and post-secondary school training organizations, as well as over 150 university and career technical training partners. As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to manifest and industries continue to adapt a new reality that includes increased automation, these skillsets will prove invaluable to ensuring the job security of a new generation workers.

“IRAPs provide an innovative approach to develop emerging occupational careers that are highly sought after,” said Paul Aiello, Director of Education, FANUC America. “The bottom line is that manufacturing needs skilled workers with automation technology training. This framework is more agile and linked with employers, who provide insight into the talent requirements from an upcoming workforce.”