FANUC, a supplier of CNCs, robotics and ROBOMACHINEs has been named a Standards Recognition Entity (SRE) by the Department of Labor (DOL). FANUC shares this achievement in collaboration with industry partners including Rockwell Automation, APT Manufacturing Solutions and the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI).
An official signing ceremony hosted by U.S. DOL Secretary Eugene Scalia named 18 SRE organizations. The FANUC America-Rockwell Automation coalition gained recognition for its focus on robotics and advanced automation, specifically the integration of these technologies into systems and the future workforce needed to support them.
Effective May 11, 2020, the U.S. DOL issued a Final Rule that establishes a system for advancing the development of high-quality Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs). IRAPs provide individuals with opportunities to obtain workplace-relevant knowledge and progressively advancing skills. IRAPs include a paid-work and an educational component and result in industry-recognized certifications.
The intent is to address America’s skills gap and rapidly increase the availability of high-quality apprenticeship programs in sectors where apprenticeship opportunities are not widespread. SRE’s have the authority to oversee the development of high-quality IRAPs.
Industry leaders FANUC and Rockwell have worked together over the past decade developing training, certifications and an education and training delivery network. This network of educational partners includes more than 1200 high school and post-secondary FANUC-certified training organizations, and over 150 university and career technical training partners associated with this industry team.
As an SRE, FANUC and its coalition will work with customers to align them with schools in FANUC’s Education Network that are local to their manufacturing facilities. The team will guide each company to develop an IRAP that helps them build a pipeline of skilled workers by upscaling current employees and filling open positions with high school and college students.
IRAPs incorporate industry-training curriculum and industry certifications that expand into relevant apprenticeships in order to develop the next-generation advanced manufacturing workforce. As a DOL-designated SRE, the FANUC-Rockwell Automation SRE coalition will assure that IRAPs are high quality, competency-based, modular, scalable and portable to secure the workforce for U.S. manufacturing.
The manufacturing skills gap is widely seen as a threat to the future of US manufacturing. The trend of a tight labor market, due to a combination of economic variables, baby boomers retiring and lack of qualified workers, is expected to grow as manufacturers adopt more advanced automation into their operations. In addition to its IRAP, the FANUC-Rockwell SRE team has worked closely to promote exciting careers in robotics and automation as well-paying jobs with opportunities for growth.