Electrical & Industrial Automation Students Can Obtain Certifications through Smart Automation Certification Alliance 

OFTC — Students enrolled in Oconee Fall Line Technical College’s (OFTC) Electrical and Industrial Automation programs can now obtain Silver and Gold Certifications through the Smart Automation Certification Alliance (SACA)

SACA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop and deploy modular Industry 4.0 certifications for a wide range of industries. There are two levels – Silver and Gold. Silver is a written assessment and Gold is a comprehensive hands-on assessment utilizing approved equipment by SACA. 

Their vision is to provide highly affordable, accessible certifications that significantly increase the number of individuals who possess the skills represented by these credentials, thereby ensuring companies have the highly skilled workers they need, and individuals are prepared to be successful in an Industry 4.0 world.  

Instructor Training 

OFTC Industrial Systems, Mechatronics, and Electronics Instructors Mark Stewart and Ryan Scarborough recently obtained gold level certification through SACA, allowing them the ability to offer these certifications to students enrolled in their programs. Students enrolled in applicable programs at OFTC can take these assessments at no cost. 

“To obtain certification, our instructors were assessed using the same criteria they’ll use with their students,” shared Lee Radney, Dean of OFTC’s Trades and Industrial programs. “This not only provides the instructors with quality standards but a personal identification with the process that gives them insight into the best way to teach and prepare students to obtain these certifications themselves.” 

The gold-level training was a challenge, but it allowed both Stewart and Scarbrough to refocus their attention on their craft. 

“The experience helps me personally to recalibrate my focus on what top performance looks like,” Stewart said. “That helps me to encourage my students to perform at the same or very similar level.” 

Student Training 

Now back in the classroom, both instructors look forward to the opportunity to offer the SACA training to their students.  

While enrolled in one of the applicable OFTC programs, students will have the opportunity to perfect certain skills; and once a certain level of proficiency is demonstrated in these processes, they’ll receive earned badges and certificates. 

SACA maintains a database of certifications awarded to individuals and awarded certifications can be accessed by the awardee, employers, or potential employers through SACA’s online portal. 

“We are excited to be able to offer this to our students as an additional means of demonstrating the knowledge that they obtain while attending OFTC,” Radney added. 

Industry Training 

The assessments are also available to local industry through the College’s Department of Economic Development. Industry employers can send their employees to OFTC to receive training to become silver or gold certified through SACA, or to validate existing skills and assess gaps for upskilling.  

The Smart Automation Certification Alliance assessments cover a variety of skills including electrical, mechanical and programming of automation devices such as Programable Logic Controllers (PLC’s) or robots. 

To learn more about OFTC’s Electrical and Industrial Automation Programs, visit OFTC’s website, OFTC.edu. To learn more about training available through the Department of Economic Development, contact Kim David at kdavid@oftc.edu.