Oakton partners with TMA to offer revamped Advanced Automation Certificate Program

A professor points to an apparatus while two Oakton students listen.
Advanced Automation Program completers will receive certifications from both Oakton and TMA, as well as job placement assistance.

(June 2, 2022) – Oakton Community College has partnered with the Technology and Manufacturing Association (TMA) to launch a newly reimagined Advanced Automation certification program that prepares students for modern manufacturing jobs. 

Students who complete the program will receive Oakton's TMA Advanced Automation Certificate. If they register with TMA, they will receive a second TMA certificate and job placement assistance with TMA member companies.

"Most of the manufacturing companies in the Chicago area are members of TMA and would value the certification," said Boguslaw Zapal, Oakton's associate professor of Manufacturing and Coordinator of CAD/Mechanical Design and Manufacturing.

"The Advanced Automation Program is similar to Oakton's former Machine Technology Program, in which students received dual-credit from TMA and Oakton," Zapal added. "The main difference is that a big chunk of the former program's classes were taught by TMA instructors, while the new TMA Advanced Automation certificate is based on classes taught at Oakton."

"When manufacturing employers see that candidates have TMA and Oakton certification, they know that the students have been well trained by the best in advanced automation," said Jack Krikorian, TMA Senior Director of Training and Education.

Oakton and TMA certification and assessment programs are built by professionals within the manufacturing industry. In the 28 credit-hour program, students will learn to operate, set up, maintain, and repair high-tech automation equipment using skills related to electronics, mechanical systems, fluid power, industrial robotics, and programmable controllers.

Automation professionals can pursue a variety of roles, such as technicians, engineers, managers, sales, service, field techs, commissioning specialists, technical gurus, and process experts. They can work for end-users, systems integrators, vendors, engineering firms, and many other employers who need skilled employees to program, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair their automated equipment. 

Additional financial support from the Calumet Area Industrial Commission (CAIC) is available for eligible students. CAIC has federal grant dollars that cover tuition, books and fees for individuals enrolling in manufacturing pathways. For more information, please visit CAIC online.  

Learn more about Oakton's TMA Advanced Automation Certificate Program, or contact Boguslaw Zapal at bzapal@oakton.edu. Register for courses beginning this fall. For information on TMA, contact Jack Krikorian at jkrikorian@tmaillinois.org.