ISA1ColorPos.jpgThe International Society of Automation announced the reinstatement of an ISA member benefit that enables ISA members who are unemployed at their membership renewal date to extend their full membership status by nine months.

“This action by ISA’s Executive Board is to great degree in response to the financial pressures and job losses mounting in the oil and gas industry throughout the world,” Rick Roop, 2015 ISA President, said in an April 8 press release. “The significant drop in the price of oil—while a boon to consumers and many manufacturers and businesses—has severely curtailed energy exploration and negatively affected many companies that operate in the field. We want our members who experience job loss to know that we understand the difficulties they’re experiencing. We want to help them maintain their full membership in and connection to ISA during their transition to new positions.”

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The “Unemployed Membership Benefit,” which will be enforced retroactively from Jan. 1 2015, was initially approved as an ISA member benefit in 2009 in response to the global economic crisis. The benefit was not renewed after two years as the world economy recovered.  

“At that time, the energy industry was rapidly growing,” Roop explained. “In fact, it was a key job generator helping to lead U.S. and other countries out of recession. The oil price crash that began in 2014 has reversed things considerably.”

Because ISA’s “Unemployed Membership Benefit” extends ISA membership status nine months onto the Society’s existing three-month grace period, some affected ISA members may be able to lengthen their membership status by a full 12 months.

An ISA member who has become unemployed should contact ISA (by email at info@isa.org or by phone by calling 919 549-8411 to request a one-time, nine-month extension of his or her current membership term. Affected members are eligible for the extension only if they contact ISA during their standard three-month active grace period.

ISA members receiving the extended membership benefit are expected to contact ISA and renew their paid membership upon re-employment.