Fluid Power Journal

IFPS Certification is a Bright Idea

scott-nagroHave you ever wondered what happens when you flip on a light switch?

Fluid power might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but electricity suppliers and transmission companies rely on equipment controlled by hydraulic and electronic systems to install and maintain our energy supply.

Technical fluid power knowledge is paramount for the OEM designers and production teams that integrate machine systems and also for the operators who count on safety, performance, and reliability in diverse and potentially dangerous environments. Even fleet managers rely on trained fluid power service technicians to maintain high levels of vehicle uptime, a leading metric in managing operation costs and profitability.

To continuously improve performance in these and other areas, employers need educated workers who possess the skills to meet current and future challenges. IFPS training and certification programs are designed specifically to help companies in the utilities market meet these needs, and they also offer employees an academic alternative that can pay off big for employee and employer alike.

According to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report, one-quarter of adults hold educational credentials other than an academic degree. The report found that alternative credentials give workers the opportunity to achieve higher earnings, and that traditional scholastic education environments are not the sole place for employers to find the talent needed in today’s challenging economy.

“Getting an academic degree is not the only way for people to develop skills that pay off in the labor market,” said Stephanie Ewert, a demographer with the Census Bureau’s Education and Social Stratification Branch and co-author of the report, Measuring Alternative Educational Credentials: 2012.

For people who already have academic degrees, the report points out that those who seek professional certifications have an even better opportunity to obtain better pay across many fields.

Employers stand to benefit, too. Through training and certification programs, like those offered by IFPS for the utility market, workers gain the technical skills that companies need to improve products and processes, reduce costs, and boost the bottom line.

For more than 50 years, IFPS certification programs have been developed for employers and workers seeking the specialized education required of fluid power system designers, specialists, technicians, and mechanics. Nowhere is the advantage of education and certification better demonstrated than in the utility market, where IFPS programs are a bright idea, indeed.

Scott Nagro, CFPS, works at HydraForce, Inc. and is a member of the 2015 IFPS Board of Directors. He can be reached at scottn@hydraforce.com.

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