I am not going to stop pounding my pulpit about this, but it sure sounds like somebody has been listening, and thinking alike with me (some emphasis on parts added by me):
ISA Identifies Core Projects for Workforce Development Program
Research Triangle Park, NC (7 June 2007) - ISA has identified core projects and areas of focus for its workforce development program, an initiative that strives to positively influence the professionals of the future, provide technical knowledge and networking opportunities, and elevate the reputation of the industry.
"Our responsibility to strengthen the automation profession is a top priority for ISA," said ISA President Steve Huffman of Mead O'Brien, Inc. "ISA, collaborating with our strategic partners, is in a unique position to advance the profession, both in the United States and around the world. By creating smart strategies and building momentum in the industry, we will empower current professionals and attract the next generation."
ISA's new workforce development program focuses on every stage of a person's career - from early, formative education programs for children to continuing education and cross-training programs for professionals in the field.
Several core projects have been identified as areas of focus for the program over the coming years. These include a K-12 education program, utilizing companies and professionals in the industry to bring manufacturing and automation awareness into schools; a diversity recruitment program to help companies reach out to under-represented cultures and ethnicities; a revamped university relations program linking faculty from universities around the world with corporate R&D centers; the creation and adoption of an automation degree curriculum; expansion of certification programs; enhanced technical training opportunities; a corporate partnership program; and a brand new government relations program.
"Planning for these core projects will commence immediately, but it's important to remember that we'll need to be flexible and we'll need to be ready to add or change projects based on the ever-changing needs of the industry and the professionals we serve," said ISA Executive Director and CEO Patrick Gouhin.
The member organizations of the Automation Federation will join ISA in the workforce development initiative, lending their perspectives and capabilities to expand the programs.
"With the help of our partners in the Automation Federation, and many other organizations and companies, we can create a cohesive effort and make a difference for generations to come," said Huffman. "The time is now."