The International Society of Automation (ISA) announced it will begin developing a new certification program as part of a $23 million grant from the US Department of Labor to fund two-year degree programs in “mission-critical operations.”

The Certified Mission-Critical Professional (CMCP) programs are to be established at five North Carolina colleges: Cleveland Community College, Wake Technical Community College, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Nash Community College and Moultrie Technical College. ISA’s CMCP program will focus on industrial operations including automation engineering technology, advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity of industrial control networks.

“As an organization that has been training and certifying professionals for rewarding careers in automation, engineering and manufacturing for decades, ISA is uniquely capable to develop this new CMCP certification program,” says Dalton Wilson, ISA’s manager of education services. “Furthermore, our existing, long-standing partnership with Cleveland Community College will be a major asset as we work with educators there to craft a certification program that’s directly tied to the curriculum and degrees to be offered at the five colleges.”

More than half of the grant is allocated to Cleveland Community College, a long-time workforce development partner of ISA and the Automation Federation. According to ISA, around $1.5 million of the total grant amount will finance the organization’s development of the certification program.