Automate 2017 to Address Growing National Debate Over Jobs and Automation

In the News
March 30, 2017

More than 400 manufacturing and supply chain technology and service providers will gather next week in Chicago at Automate 2017 to present an up-close view of the drivers transforming and moving these segments toward a realized Industry 4.0.

While Automate functions as a working celebration of the advances in industrial automation, this year’s event comes at a time when US political upheaval, supported by a barrage of  anxiety causing negative headlines, places robotics and automation in the crosshairs of a national debate on whether these technologies will lead to the demise of the American workforce.

The Association for Advancing Automation (A3), which hosts the biennial event, will use Automate as a platform to directly address mounting concerns and criticisms over workplace automation. On day one of the event, which takes place April 3 – 6 at McCormick place, the association will release a whitepaper on the topic titled “Work in the Automation Age: Sustainable Careers Today and into the Future” and host a “Working in the Automation Age” jobs forum.

The forum and whitepaper will focus on how automation drives productivity, which is the key to companies’ competitiveness, profitability, and growth and how this leads to existing jobs being replaced by new jobs of a higher-value tasks.

The association intends to address the issue of the skills gap and the pressure its puts on employers to find talent. According to the association, studies show an increasing skills gap with as many as two million jobs going unfilled in the manufacturing industry alone in the next decade. Fully 80% of manufacturers report a shortage of qualified applicants for skilled production positions, which could cost U.S. manufacturers 11% of their annual earnings, according to the association. Based on information that will be presented in the whitepaper, manufacturing executives reported an average of 94 days to recruit engineering and research employees and 70 days to recruit...

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