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THE REVOLUTION IS HERE Automation will force virtually every employer to get on board or face extinction

American Millwork and Cabinetry Inc. installed a robotic panel retrieval system at its Emmaus facility, making the company more ef cient and competitive./ PHOTO/AMERICAN MILLWORK AND CABINETRY STAFF

Employers are about to face a disruptive change in the way we work.

Employers are about to face a disruptive change in the way we work.

While much has been written about how automation will affect jobs in manufacturing, technology will be taking over many jobs across all industries the next five to 15 years.

From accountants to construction workers and medical professionals to fast food workers, many jobs are likely to be heavily affected by technology. Many of the functions of these jobs already are being done by computers, and this will only increase as technology advances.

With technology continuing to evolve at a rapid pace, employers will require workers to have more critical and innovative thinking and problem-solving skills. It also will mean workers may have to transition to other fields or learn new jobs yet to be created.

“I think more so than at any other time in economic history, we stand at a precipice of an entirely different future,” said Don Cunningham, president and CEO of Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. “It’s a significant issue if you look out over three to five years.

“We have a large, growing base of jobs in manufacturing and service sector jobs which will be affected by advanced technology.”

America is at the kind of transition period the nation experienced as it moved from farming to the Industrial Revolution, he added.

In many ways, technological advancements are nothing new and are, of course, entirely necessary for a changing world. They will no doubt make working environments easier for people, reducing the amount of repetitive or manual tasks that humans have done for decades.

From advanced robotics and driverless vehicles to 3-D printing and virtual reality, many of these technological breakthroughs already impact the workplace to some degree.

What’s harder to determine is exactly the impact on employers.

Brian Pedersen
Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at [email protected] or 610-807-9619, ext. 4108.

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