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DOL recognizes Fanuc, Rockwell Automation for apprenticeship programs

Oct. 13, 2020
Automation companies recognized for efforts in closing the manufacturing skills gap

Fanuc, supplier of CNCs and robotics, 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. According to Fanuc, 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.

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 1,200 high school and post-secondary Fanuc-certified training organizations, and more than 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 competency-based, modular, scalable and portable to secure the workforce for U.S. manufacturing.

Fanuc, the U.S. DOL and NOCTI will hold a panel discussion on “Workforce 2025 Outlook – Aligning Education with Industry.” The discussion will include what companies are doing to control and narrow the skills gap leading into 2025. This session is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 22 at 2:00 p.m. EDT, and is part of Fanuc's new Virtual Event, “Take Control."

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