Introducing The AED Foundation’s Construction Career Aptitude Test

The AED Foundation’s newest resource for students, the Construction Career Aptitude Test, is launching soon! This free test will help 13-17-year-olds interested in the equipment industry to gauge their understanding of industry knowledge before entering a recognized high school program or an accredited college program. With the help of this aptitude test, students and instructors can focus on students’ prior knowledge and examine areas where a student may need extra training.

The test includes 50 questions on a variety of topics, including:

  • Measurement
  • General mathematics
  • Safety
  • Mechanical reasoning
  • Basic electrical
  • Hydraulics
  • Engine systems

The test will be available to students through their organization’s login. Upon completion of the test, the organization will have immediate access to student results. The AED Foundation aims to provide this test to allow students and instructors to evaluate the student’s strengths and weaknesses upon introduction to the equipment industry, including easy analyzation of test results. Students will receive a score in each category of the test, as well as an overall score. This provides instructors with a clear perspective on what to focus on to achieve student success.

Test results will help students individually, but they offer organizations benchmarking data that helps evaluate their test takers. The Foundation is committed to working hard to ensure students can determine key areas that need improvement and prepare for their careers in the industry.

For further questions on the new construction career aptitude test, please contact the Foundation’s Technical Program Manager, Linley Thompson, at lthompson@aednet.org.

What are Stackable Credentials and Why do They Matter?

As the Foundation continues to encourage students to take an interest in the equipment industry, The AED Foundation (AEDF) works to deliver a new method of providing education to high school students this fall: stackable credentials.  

Stackable credentials consist of a way to educate students with online courses that build upon one another. The goal with stackable credentials is to allow students to become familiar with industry knowledge and practices early on. AEDF believes that this education will assist students in growing into highly competent industry technicians. By drawing the attention of students and showcasing the significance of quality education from early on, The AED Foundation strongly believes that this will help reduce the workforce shortage.   

The focuses for these credentials are based on the core competencies in AEDF’s technical standards.  

To put it in perspective, once a student has completed all of the courses for electrical/electronics, for example, they can move on to completing the courses for the following competency. These credentials build on each other to create a well-rounded, knowledgeable and qualified student. Stackable credentials offer students an informative introduction to the industry that provides them with a solid foundation of base knowledge.  

As these students move on from high school into either a career or one of AEDF’s accredited college programs, they will find that these credentials put them ahead of classmates or others who are new to the industry. With a familiar background in each of the core competencies, students can move confidently through an accredited college program, focusing on these competencies.  

Students who complete AEDF’s stackable credentials show employers that they take their education seriously. No matter what route students decide to choose, earning stackable credentials offers more flexibility and opportunity within their career path. Students gaining more knowledge from an early age helps them succeed while also relieving instructors of some of the stress in educating students new to the industry. In addition, dealers can benefit from hiring a student that stands out from the crowd with these credentials.  

The AED Foundation is excited to launch stackable credentials to encourage more high schoolers to enter the equipment industry. Students who receive stackable credentials will be more prepared for their future in the industry, but they display their dedication and commitment to becoming educated in the industry. 

How High Schools Get Engaged and Become Recognized

High school recognition is a sought-after distinction in the industry as it displays school commitment to The AED Foundation’s (AEDF) standards and student education. Many high schools may wonder how they can become recognized by The Foundation, or if there’s anything they can do to speed up the process. In this post, we discuss what high schools can do to work towards becoming recognized.  

The first part of the recognition process starts with the high school. High schools can reach out to an AED accredited college in the area to establish an articulation agreement. Creating an articulation agreement between an accredited college and the prospective recognized high school helps to expedite the process of becoming AEDF recognized. This would ideally include a robust dual credit agreement. The articulation agreement is beneficial to schools as it offers students a smooth transition from a high school program to a college program.  

If a high school does not have an accredited college program in the area, contact Linley Thompson, the Foundation’s Technical Program Manager at lthompson@aednet.org, or dealers in your area.  

There are five parts to AEDF’s high school recognition process that are handled on the school’s end, including:  

  1. Have an articulation agreement in place with local AEDF accredited college (dual credits recommended).  
  2. Provide advisory board lists for both the high school and AEDF accredited college.  
  3. Provide the Foundation with 3-5 photos of the high school facility.  
  4. A letter of recommendation from the accredited college is necessary, and a supporting dealer letter is preferred.  
  5. The high school needs to send a 1.5 to 3-page summary of their program.  

Taking a proactive approach and working to get these steps completed can help your school speed up the recognition process. It should be noted that the most important part of becoming recognized is that the high school program must display competency in at least one to two of AEDF’s six technical standards (Electrical/electronics, HVAC, hydrostatics/hydraulics, powertrains, diesel engines, safety/administration). This helps ensure that students are aptly prepared for their careers as technicians in the equipment industry.  

The Foundation highly anticipates recognizing more high school programs in the coming years in contribution to Vision 2024 AEDF’s response to address the workforce shortage. The AED Foundation’s goal is to have 50 recognized high school programs in 2024. The schools’ efforts that work with the Foundation to become recognized have a lasting, positive impact on the future of the industry and the students that graduate from these programs.  

Learn All About AEDF’s Recognized High School Programs in July!

As we move into July, The AED Foundation (AEDF) is switching focus for its brand awareness campaign to a new topic: recognized high school programs! Throughout the month, AEDF will be focusing on the critical role that recognized high schools play in bringing qualified technicians into the industry and addressing the workforce shortage. This relates to the Foundation’s Vision 2024 goal, which includes 50 recognized high school programs. Recognized high schools help students become highly educated as they transfer into an AEDF accredited college program, offering a strong background for them as they become future technicians. Students who graduate from an AEDF recognized high school and college go through a rigorous training process, ensuring that they are a top tier applicant upon graduation. 

The AED Foundation currently has six recognized high school programs, including:

These high schools have made efforts to meet all AEDF’s standards to enable their students to have a bright future as AEDF certified technicians. 

The Foundation’s goal to recognize 50 high school programs by 2024 will offer substantial benefits for students, schools and dealers. Students enrolled at an AEDF recognized high school could attend an accredited college program once they graduate, which is closely partnered with a nearby dealership, facilitating a space for dealers to oversee that the instruction meets their individual needs. In addition, students enrolled in The AED Foundation’s recognized high school programs can apply for a CAT Foundation scholarship for their education at an AEDF accredited college program. 

By recognizing more high school programs, the Foundation is adding more highly skilled technicians to the workforce. AEDF hopes to make these recognized programs widely available to provide more opportunities for young people interested in a rewarding career in the equipment industry. To learn more about the Foundation’s recognized high school programs, view the Vision 2024 Brochure.  

If you have any questions about the high school recognition process, please contact the Foundation’s Technical Program Manager, Linley Thompson, at lthompson@aednet.org.