ISA Underscores Importance of People to Automation in New Position Paper

Automation does not eliminate jobs, rather it repurposes existing jobs and creates new ones. 
New position paper offers recommendations on how policy makers and private-sector leaders can be best equipped to take advantage of the opportunity to deliver the many benefits of automation more effectively to their constituencies.

Durham, North Carolina–(Newsfile Corp. – September 21, 2023) – The International Society of Automation (ISA) — the leading professional society for automation — has announced the publication of a new position paper, “Automation Depends on People to Make the World a Better Place.”

Automation is all around us, impacting everything from food we eat to clean drinking water to devices we use to reliably communicate to the safety of vehicles we travel in. Advances in manufacturing, technology, sustainability, and safety will all depend upon automation technologies and people working together to bring the most creative and innovative solutions to bear.

But with each innovation in society, corresponding headlines and public concern are amplified that this new development will be responsible for job loss. This has been true of the printing press, the automobile, and the computer – and any newspaper you open today likely has a similar story about automation, robots, or artificial intelligence. In this paper, ISA explains its position that automation does not simply eliminate jobs as some believe, but rather repurposes existing jobs and creates new ones.

“As a society, our focus should be on preparing our workforce to meet the high and growing demand for engineers and technicians,” said Claire Fallon, ISA Executive Director. “We must educate enough people to be well versed in automation technologies, as well as the industry standards and conformance programs that support the automation field.”

Companies the world over are already citing the need for more qualified staff – a demand that will only continue to grow as technologies progress. There are many resources and training programs in place for automation professionals to advance their careers including those offered by ISA. These can and should be bolstered by additional focus within the K-12, vocational, and higher education communities to prioritize programs for the next generation of automation engineers and technicians.

“Unfortunately, it’s a tale as old as time,” said Fallon. “US Congress held hearings in 1955 on ‘Automation and Technical Change,’ and one of the chief findings was that the ‘nation is faced with a threatened shortage of scientists, technicians, and skilled labor.'”

Nearly 70 years later, ISA aims to bring the focus back to people, and back to the continued global need for more automation professionals to support our technology, safety, sustainability, and economic development goals.

“ISA has a long history of preparing the automation profession with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful and effective,” said Steve Mustard, ISA Treasurer and certified ISA trainer. “Keeping our finger on the pulse of technology advances and business challenges ensures that we are able to address upcoming demands and keep the profession evolving.”

The position paper is available now on the ISA website.

About ISA
The International Society of Automation (ISA) is a non-profit professional association founded in 1945 to create a better world through automation. ISA’s mission is to empower the global automation community through standards and knowledge sharing. ISA develops widely used global standards and conformity assessment programs; certifies professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; hosts conferences and exhibits; and provides networking and career development programs for its members and customers around the world. Learn more at

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