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Discover the Benefits of The AED Foundation’s Accredited College Programs

August has arrived, which means The AED Foundation is shifting topics for its brand awareness campaign to highlight its accredited college programs. Like July, which focused on AEDF’s recognized high school programs, the Foundation plans to take August to showcase all of the benefits that accredited college programs provide. Look for blog posts, social media posts and press releases that discuss everything you need to know about AEDF accredited programs all month long!  

The Foundation’s accredited college programs offer students quality education that has been thoroughly assessed and adapted to meet AEDF’s industry-recognized standards. The AED Foundation has developed this program and accredited schools across the country to ensure students have exceptional training and education. Upon completion, students receive a certificate and the title of an AEDF Certified Technician, an essential indicator for dealers that the technician has completed training that aligns with industry standards and expectations. Students in AEDF’s recognized high school programs are required to go through both classroom and hands-on training and complete the AEDF Certified Technician Test at the end of the course to prove their retention and understanding of their training.  

As part of Vision 2024, the Foundation aims to accredit 100 college programs across North America by 2024. This milestone will create more opportunities for students interested in entering the equipment industry, in turn, developing an increase in qualified and AEDF Certified Technicians within the workforce. Certified Technicians’ esteemed education and training add value to the dealership they are hired at and provide the technician with an impressive credential and refined technical skills upon graduation.  

Not only does a student enrolled in an accredited program avoid the steep costs of tuition from the typical four-year college route, but if they have graduated from an AEDF recognized high school program, they have the opportunity to apply for an AEDF scholarship. The scholarship, which has been generously granted by The Caterpillar Foundation, makes the program even more affordable for students.  

A full list of The AED Foundation’s accredited college programs is available here.  

Any questions about The AED Foundation’s accredited programs can be directed to the Foundation’s Technical Program Manager, Linley Thompson, at lthompson@aednet.org 

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. 

Technical Testing and Certifications as Part of Our Vision 2024 Goal

The AED Foundation (AEDF) strongly believes in continuous learning and education for technicians to help dealers ensure top quality performance and open up new growth opportunities. As part of Vision 2024 ) the Foundation plans to administer 10,000 tests and certify 5,000 technicians. To facilitate this goalAEDF is happy to offer testing and certifications for technicians to demonstrate their abilities. The Foundation’s testing is used to measure a technician’s knowledge before hiring and helps determines the strengths and weaknesses of current technicians employed at your dealership. Offering your technicians, the opportunity to evaluate their skills and gain a certification displays commitment to their growth and career development. 

 Technical testing provides benefits to dealers and technicians interested in furthering their skill set. Dealers can gauge a technician’s knowledge and identify areas of strengths and weaknesses through AEDF’s Technical Test. The results offer a clear depiction of what areas a technician excels and what areas need improving. Dealers save time and money on training by using AEDF’s testing tool pre-hire to determine if an applicant is the right fit for the position, and then training to focus on weaker areas. Technicians can feel confident that they are taking the steps needed to become a well-rounded, knowledgeable employee by identifying the areas they need to improve upon. Testing costs are regularly $100 for members, but The AED Foundation is offering a limited time discount of 25% for dealers now through July 14. 

The AED Foundation’s Certified Technician Program  ensures that technicians are highly qualified to perform effectively at a dealership. AEDF’s certification shows dealers and customers that a technician meets an industry recognized standard. The AED Foundation is proud to recognize technicians and dealerships whenever a technician completes the program. Certification displays that technicians meet an industry recognized standard. Customers of dealerships with certified technicians can be assured that technicians are the top tier in the entire industry. 

Beginning in August, AEDF will offer its new aptitude test for students age 13-16. The aptitude test has been designed to create a benchmark for both student and dealer awareness.  The test helps gauge students’ knowledge before entering a recognized high school program or accredited college program. With this additional testing, instructors can familiarize themselves with student capabilities before they begin the program and can focus on general weak points to ensure students are up to speed. 

The AED Foundation Knows Good…

The AED Foundation Knows Good Bourbon! 

The AED Foundation (AEDF) wants to help our members succeed by providing resources and education however we can…and today, we are doing so by treating our members to a National Bourbon Day celebration! 

In honor of National Bourbon Day, AEDF is filling our social media pages with fun facts, bourbon cocktail recipes, and a bourbon giveaway! This is a great opportunity for AED members to get involved with the Foundation on social media. AEDF regularly posts important updates and information on current projects that are being worked on, and you might even have a chance at winning some free bourbon! 

Fast Facts about Bourbon: 

  • 95% of bourbon is made in Kentucky. 
  • In 2018, Kentucky had 68 bourbon distilleries, a 250% increase from 2009! 
  • For a whiskey to qualify as bourbon, it must be made in the United States, and be made of at least 51%, but no more than 71% corn. 
  • In 1964, Congress declared that bourbon is the United States’ only native spirit.

Interested in learning more about bourbon? Try out one of these documentaries! 

  • Neat: The Story of Bourbon (2018) 
  • Straight Up: Kentucky Bourbon (2018) 

Check us out on social media to discover more fun facts, our “signature” cocktail recipes, and of course, our bourbon giveaway! 

The AED Foundation is celebrating National Bourbon Day to not only engage in the fun and excitement of a giveaway of one of our favorite whiskies, but to spread the word of our Vision 2024 campaign. The Foundation’s goal with this campaign has been to put a fun twist on an important focus of ours in the coming years. Today’s content is not only about bourbon, but about Vision 2024 as well. Look for our Foundation-related cocktail names on social media, along with facts about Vision 2024 and AEDF in the descriptions! The Foundation hopes to bring awareness to its goals that will benefit the industry as a whole, while offering our members a fun contest to participate in! 

Vision 2024 is The AED Foundation’s solution to address the workforce shortage. By involving students, schools, and dealer members, the Foundation has developed a plan that will create a steady and sustainable pipeline of qualified technicians into the workforce for years to come. To learn more about Vision 2024, click here. 

We’ve seen the issues. We’ve heard the Issues. This is our Solution: Vision 2024

Addressing the technician workforce shortage is something that The AED Foundation (AEDF) understands needs to be taken seriously. Vision 2024 is AEDF’s plan of action to fight these issues and establish a brighter future for our industry. With the efforts of students, schools and dealer members, the Foundation can diminish the workforce shortage that the industry is currently experiencing.

Three primary focuses of this plan include students, schools and dealers. Vision 2024 will reach:

  • 100 accredited college programs
  • 50 recognized high school programs
  • 10,000 skilled technicians entering the workforce
  • 500 Certified Managers
  • 10,000 Tests Administered
  • 5,000 Certified Technicians

Reaching these benchmarks will help to transform the industry by creating a pipeline of skilled technicians that will feed into the workforce.

The AED Foundation plans to double the number of accredited college programs and recognized high school programs.  This will ensure students receive quality education and training that will prepare them for their future. The only accreditation program in the industry, AED Foundation accreditation offers students an esteemed education and ensures dealers that they are hiring qualified employees. With this, Vision 2024 will add more technicians to the applicant pool and ensure that they’re the most qualified in the industry.

In addition to our school programs, Vision 2024 will propel the industry forward with the addition of 500 certified managers to the workforce.  The AED Foundation offers Certified Manager Programs (CMP) online to enhance employee skills in various dealership area. The Foundation provides these programs for those interested in career advancement opportunities, and doing so allows them to get the education and certifications that they desire from the designated program of their choosing.

AEDF is offering dealers and schools to technical testing opportunities for students and employees on their knowledge. Technical testing is also included in the AEDF’s Certified Technician Program and both are essential to our Vision 2024 goal. Testing provides insight to student and employee understanding, while the Certified Technician Program establishes employee excellence and allows dealers as well as technicians to be recognized.

The Foundation is determined to meet our Vision 2024 goals to create opportunities for individuals and dealerships. To learn more information, visit http://aedfoundation.org/vision-2024/

The AED Foundation 2020 Research Report

The Equipment Industry Technician Shortage

The Equipment Industry Technician Shortage: Reassessing Causes, Impacts and Policy Recommendations research report provides an updated look at the impact the skills gap is having on our industry, estimates how many technician positions will need to be filled over the next five years, and provides recommendations for addressing the technician shortage.

Highlights of the report include:

  • The need to fill up to 73,500 heavy equipment technicians over the next five years
  • The equipment industry has a job opening rate three times higher than the national average
  • Almost 90% of AED member dealerships have a job opening rate above the national average
  • Among AED member respondents, 95% agree there is a skills gap in the industry and 89% report a shortage of workers in their company

The AED Foundation, through its Vision 2024 initiative, is creating a steady and robust pipeline of technicians for the future of the equipment distribution industry. By 2024, the Foundation is aiming to reach the following goals; 100 accredited college programs, 50 recognized high school programs, 10,000 skilled technicians entering the workforce, 500 certified managers, 10,000 tests administered, and 5,000 certified technicians.

Concurrent with the report release, the Caterpillar Foundation announced a $300,000 grant to The AED Foundation to fund scholarships to high schools interested in promoting a curriculum that leads to a career in the heavy equipment industry. To view the full press release, click here.


Research Report Recap Video:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Skilled-Trades Spokesman Again Champions Penn College Students

This article was originally published in the PC Today News & Information. Click here to view the original article.For the seventh consecutive year, Pennsylvania College of Technology students have been selected for $1,000 national scholarships to help them buy tools for their imminent employment in the heavy construction equipment field.

Benjamin P. Coppola, of Danville, and Andrew M. Shane, of Boyertown – both about to graduate in heavy construction equipment technology: technician emphasis – were among the high-achieving students receiving funds through the mikeroweWORKS Foundation in partnership with the AED Foundation, an Associated Equipment Distributors affiliate.

AED is an Illinois-based international trade association representing more than 800 construction equipment distributors, manufacturers and industry-service firms in North America.Mike Rowe is the creator and host of the “Dirty Jobs” series on the Discovery Channel and, as a renowned advocate of technical education’s role in fueling the workforce, was interviewed for Penn College’s 2014 documentary, “Working Class: 100 Years of Hands-On Education.”

“When I think of Ben, it makes me grateful I chose this profession,” noted Mark E. Sones, instructor of diesel equipment technology. “He is the type of student that is always on point, absorbing your every word, questioning the function and physics of how things work; he is truly passionate about our industry and being the best at what he does. It has been an honor to be part of Ben’s technical education, and it will be exciting to see where his abilities take him through life and his career.”

Faculty were equally effusive about Shane’s attributes: “Andrew has a real passion and desire for the heavy equipment industry, and it is awesome he can be recognized for being an outstanding student,” said Chris S. Weaver, instructor of diesel equipment technology. “He will make a positive and lasting impact in his field of study, and I am honored to have him as a student.”

The scholarships are available to students enrolled in diesel equipment technology or related programs that are AED-accredited. Penn College is the only Pennsylvania institution on that list, attaining accreditation for its two-year majors in heavy construction equipment technology: technician emphasis and heavy construction equipment technology: Caterpillar equipment emphasis majors.

A total of 13 Penn College students have been awarded tool scholarships in the past seven years. To qualify, those students must have the highest GPAs in their program and submit brief essays that encompass their goals, choice of college and career, and perspective on why AED accreditation matters.

Both of this year’s Penn College honorees began their postsecondary education elsewhere – Coppola in the University of Pittsburgh’s engineering program and Shane at Penn State for agricultural engineering – before being drawn to the institution’s reputation and the solid career opportunities for the hands-on skills they are acquiring.

“Tools can be very pricey, and I find myself stressing over whether or not I will have the tools that I need to do the job to my best abilities,” said Shane, who has accepted a position with H.L. Wiker, a Lancaster-based excavation company, and who has long-term aspirations to return to his agricultural roots.

“I am planning on buying some beef cows when I get out of school, and this scholarship will allow me to buy tools and save some of my own money to put toward that. It would be a big help to me getting my career started.”

“The mikeroweWORKS/AED Foundation Tools Scholarship would help me because, in nearly all cases, a technician is responsible for his own tools, and one can never have enough tools,” said Coppola, who also earned a degree in diesel technology and is eyeing a career as a heavy equipment road technician for a dealership or an excavating/construction company.

“While I already possess basic hand tools, I still need A/C manifold gauges, a set of crows’-foot wrenches and a high-quality multimeter. Having the scholarship would provide the funds for me to buy these tools and more, thus preparing me for entry into the workforce.”