Friday, October 22, 2010

Productive meetings in Washington (US)

The Automation Federation is a global umbrella organization under which member associations and societies engaged in manufacturing and process automation activities can work more effectively to fulfill their missions, advance the science and engineering of automation technologies and applications and develop the workforce needed to capitalize on the benefits of automation. The Automation Federation is working to become the “Voice of Automation.” However most of these initiatives if not all refer to the United States government.

The previous release from AF announced that the IET was joining the federation and hopefully that will bring initiatives which have a greater relevence to the global automation community.

The Automation Federation (AF) announced the completion of a series of strategic meetings with U.S. Congressional staff, U.S. federal agencies, and industry and business organizations in Washington D.C. this past week. A team of five volunteers, led by Steve Huffman, chair of the Automation Federation government relations committee, participated in these strategic meetings which took place 18–22 October.

AF has and continues to aggressively promote to the U.S. Congress the message of the importance of the automation profession and its importance to the revitalization of manufacturing. This recent series of meetings continues AF’s efforts to remain engaged with the U.S. Congress and federal agencies through direct meetings in Washington D.C. 

The meetings focused on several key AF initiatives:
These meetings yielded many positive results, including:
  • The identification of AF as a source for expertise for the development of the U.S. Manufacturing Policy
  • The recruitment of the Vice President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Chris Guith, as the keynote speaker for the 54th Annual ISA POWID Symposium
  • Support for AF’s Workforce Development Initiative, including support for
    • The AF Veterans Initiative (These are veterans from the US forces returned from active service in places like Iraq and Afganistan and the initiative is part of a drive to help them back into civilian society. ED)
    • AF’s alliance with FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology; The founder and driving force of this is Dean Kamen who keynoted at #ISAwk in October)
  • The development of a relationship with the US Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC)
  • The development of a relationship with the US National Rural Water Association (NRWA)
  • The strengthening of relationships with existing partners and supporters
Huffman said of the meetings, “The Automation Federation has once again put a spotlight on the automation profession, with another series of important meetings in Washington D.C. AF has spent the last few days creating and strengthening relationships with key governmental groups for the benefit of the automation profession. We are confident these meetings served to reinforce AF as “the Voice of Automation” and to spread the word about the important work AF is undertaking to “Build the Next Generation of Automation Professionals.”

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