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Robots are on the rise in the workplace, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing

Hiring Hoosiers
Posted: 5:56 AM, Jan 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-08 18:16:53Z
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VINCENNES — Robots are on the rise in the workplace, but that doesn’t mean your jobs are in jeopardy, you’ll just have to learn new skills to keep up with the transitioning fields.

As robots replace some job functions, machines are revolutionizing how people work and Vincennes University is one of several sites training people to handle those new robotic skills in all areas of work.

But it isn’t necessarily your jobs they are taking; Dean of the College of Technology Ty Freed says these robots are replacing workers in areas that employers have a hard time keeping filled.

“Robots can take care of the – dangerous, dirty, nasty (jobs) that people don’t enjoy and have a high turnover rate,” Freed said.

One important thing for people to remember is that these robots aren’t all-powerful. They have old technology and they require maintenance just like any other machine.

“The good thing about this new technology is that everything inside of it is old,” ABB Robotics Director Jerry Ruble said. “Electricity has been around for decades and mechanical devices, and that’s all robots and automatic equipment is old – it’s electricity in some mechanical items.”

Ruble says anyone who has basic knowledge and skill can be taught to work on the equipment.

“We’ve had people come to class with as little training as ‘I can wire up a fan. I can put a receptacle in,’ or ‘I can change the oil in the car.’ Anybody with skills as basic as those can come here and learn the things we are teaching,” Rubel said.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that when the robots take care of the menial tasks it makes way for companies to open higher paying positions taking care of those robots.

The state is currently making grants available to help people seek jobs working in robotics. Information on the available grants can be found at nextleveljobs.org.

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