NOCTI Recognized

DOL praises collaboration with FANUC, Rockwell, APT

Due to the skills gap, certification is arguably more important than ever, as it pertains to skilled trade industries. While nominal “certifications” have grown more common with the trajectory of niche organizations, truly measurable competency testing is scarce.

That’s where NOCTI comes in. The National Occupancy Competency Testing Institute, based out of a humble, 10,000 square-foot building in upstate Michigan, performs some of the most credible assessments of technical talent available to workers. These workers are increasingly part of an overlooked, under-supported class of learning.

A recent showing of NOCTI’s transitional value to the national workforce came on October 13, when it was recognized by the Department of Labor for its collaboration with industry partners Rockwell Automation, FANUC, and APT Manufacturing Solutions, among others. In all, 18 SRE (Standards Recognition Entity) organizations were recognized; the three above for “focus on robotics and advanced automation, specifically the integration of these technologies into systems and the future workforce needed to support them.”

This description is noteworthy in the bubbling debate about whether automation unseats potential skilled positions, or, as many companies contend, requires restructured training to compliment them. Beginning to assess and guide specific training at a young age like it does, would, theoretically, give an organization like NOCTI more flexibility in this arena.

An official signing ceremony hosted by U.S. DOL Secretary Eugene Scalia named the 18 SRE organizations. 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. 

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