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ISA Insights

September 2009

Automation Federation and the U.S. Department of Labor Aired Webinar Focused on Attracting Talent to into the Automation Field

The developers of the Automation Competency Model, the Automation Federation and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), provided a free webinar on 1 September 2009 titled, “Competency Model for Attracting Talent to the Automation Industry.”

Presenters at the webinar were representatives of the Automation Federation, including Steve Huffman, vice president of Mead O’Brien, Inc. and chairman of the Automation Federation’s government relations committee; Paul Galeski , president and CEO of Maverick Technologies; and Steve Pflantz, partner at Clark Richardson and Biskup Consulting Engineers, Inc. They described and discussed the development of the Industry Competency Model for automation and their plans to use it as a resource for future workforce development efforts. There were over 400 participants attending the webinar from community colleges, the manufacturing industry, state government employment agencies, and federal agencies.

Steve Rietzke, industry lead, business relations group, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor moderated the session.

“The completion of the automation competency model has without a doubt been one of the most successful items in the Automation Federation’s short existence, and today’s webinar confirmed the interest academia, government, and industry have in the future of automation and the people representing this field,” said Steve Huffman about the webinar. “In a sense, our work with the model is just beginning as we’re now ready to take it to the streets by working with various interest groups to pave the pathway to automation careers that this model has created.” Huffman concluded.

The Automation Federation collaborated with the U.S. Department of Labor to develop an industry competency model to use as a resource for curriculum development; employer efforts to recruit, retain, and train workers; identification of opportunities to upgrade the skills of dislocated workers; and identification of opportunities for Veterans. All nine building blocks of the Competency Model are now complete and can be viewed on DOL’s website ( and the Automation Federation’s website (

The completed automation competency model will be circulated to business and industry sectors, along with business organizations, academia, government agencies, Members of Congress, and international groups. The Department of Labor will also provide an updated link to the Automation Federation website where the final model will be available for viewing.

As a living document, the Automation Federation and the Department of Labor will update the automation competency model on an annual basis