ISA underscores importance of people to automation in new position paper

Mike Edwards   

News People in Process Claire Fallon International Society of Automation ISA position paper safety Steve Mustard technology training

Steve Mustard (left), ISA treasurer and certified ISA trainer, and Claire Fallon, ISA executive director.

The International Society of Automation (ISA) — the leading professional society for automation — has announced the publication of a new position paper, “Automation Depends on People to Make the World a Better Place.”

“As a society, our focus should be on preparing our workforce to meet the high and growing demand for engineers and technicians,” said Claire Fallon, ISA executive director.

“We must educate enough people to be well versed in automation technologies, as well as the industry standards and conformance programs that support the automation field.”

Companies the world over are already citing the need for more qualified staff — a demand that will only continue to grow as technologies progress, the ISA says. There are many resources and training programs in place for automation professionals to advance their careers including those offered by ISA. These can and should be bolstered by additional focus within the K-12, vocational, and higher education communities, it adds, to prioritize programs for the next generation of automation engineers and technicians.

“Unfortunately, it’s a tale as old as time,” said Fallon. “US Congress held hearings in 1955 on ‘Automation and Technical Change,’ and one of the chief findings was that the ‘nation is faced with a threatened shortage of scientists, technicians, and skilled labour.'”

Nearly 70 years later, ISA aims to bring the focus back to people, and back to the continued global need for more automation professionals to support our technology, safety, sustainability, and economic development goals.

“ISA has a long history of preparing the automation profession with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful and effective,” said Steve Mustard, ISA treasurer and certified ISA trainer.

“Keeping our finger on the pulse of technology advances and business challenges ensures that we are able to address upcoming demands and keep the profession evolving.”

The position paper is available now on the ISA website.

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