Executive Summit offers steps to automation success by ProQuest


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Executive Summit offers steps
to automation success

        he 2nd Annual ISA Automation           experienced engineers, surviving with          guru when they grow up,” said ISA Presi-
        Executive Summit in October gave       continual over-time of employees. Uni-         dent Kim Miller Dunn. “Many of those
        automation experts the chance to       versities might find this story compelling      who traveled down this road are now find-
share their experience with executives on      enough to adopt an automation program          ing themselves in dire straights as markets
what they see as the future of automation.     to ensure high placement rates and high        crash, companies go under, and in general
   One discussion focused on the most stra-    salaries for new graduates.                    there is now a flood of MBAs on the mar-
tegic issues the automation profession will       What will the automation profes-            ket looking for jobs,” she said.
face over the next decade or more. “We         sional of the future need to know?                In the manufacturing sector—those
are trying to assemble a common vision            The requirements of the workforce           who seem to succeed often start with a
and mobilize efforts to realize a brighter     change quickly, and we need to be able         technical degree followed by an MBA or
future,” said ISA Executive Director Patrick   to project competency requirements in          finance degree coupled with good experi-
Gouhin. He asked for attendees’ continued      the future. We need to be able to link         ence in sales, marketing, manufacturing,
support in contributing to the vision of the   these requirements back into the educa-        and finance. “Having those across-the-
automation profession. “Together we can        tional curriculum. Corporations are losing     board skills seems to lead to better op-
accomplish more than any of us (or our or-     trained employees at twice the rate they       portunities and better leaders overall,”
ganizations) can independently,” he said.      can replace them.                              Miller Dunn said. “In today’s environ-
   Education and government relations             The Automation Federation and ISA are       ment, demonstrating a clear understand-
and broadening international awareness         working with the U.S. Department of Labor      ing of the entire business picture trumps
were among last year’s initiatives. The        (DOL) to define additional skill categories     pure finance knowledge.”
objective of this year’s meeting was to        for the automation profession. The Au-            China is a good example of a country
engage corporate executives in a mean-         tomation Federation is looking across the      that currently offers automation as a disci-
ingful discussion to positively impact the     entire spectrum of automation profession       pline under engineering in its universities.
automation profession over the next de-        levels to help create a competency model.         Other suggestions included targeting
cade or longer.                                   Do those in the field get the respect        universities to adopt automation pro-
   Participants expressed concerns and         they deserve, making others aspire to          grams and soliciting corporate funding.
challenges ahead that will help ISA in its     similar car
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