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The AED Foundation Awards Brandeis Machinery & Supply Co. and Power Equipment Co. IRAP Designation

Schaumburg, IL – Brandeis Machinery & Supply Co. and Power Equipment Co. recently became the first AED distributor member recognized by The AED Foundation (AEDF) as an Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP). AEDF is pleased to congratulate Brandeis Machinery & Supply Co. and Power Equipment Co. on this significant accomplishment. As a Standards Recognition Entity (SRE) for the heavy equipment industry, apprenticeship program recognition from AEDF allows technicians who complete their apprenticeship to become Certified AEDF Technicians. This distinction demonstrates that technicians have received optimal education that lives up to the industry standard.

This fall, The AED Foundation was named an SRE for the industry by the U.S. Department of Labor, an achievement that AEDF worked towards for two years. With this distinction, the Foundation is able to award apprenticeship programs the title IRAP, a designation that asserts the program’s excellence. Executive Vice President and COO of the Foundation, Jason Blake, states “The Foundation is proud to recognize Brandeis Machinery & Supply Co. and Power Equipment Co.’s program with the title of IRAP to help showcase the efforts they have put into their program. Brandeis is exemplary of what an IRAP program should be.”

Brandeis Machinery and Supply Co. and Power Equipment Co.’s apprenticeship program started in 2015, and with the dedication of the instructors and apprentices that make the program possible, it was able to become the first recognized apprenticeship program by the Foundation. Brandeis Machinery & Supply Co. and Power Equipment Co.’s Vice President of HR and Compliance, Charles Paradis stated, “It is an honor to be recognized as the first IRAP with the Foundation. It is a reflection of the hard work that has been put into the program. We know in our industry, finding qualified technicians can be a challenge. Our apprenticeship program allows us to build a quality, knowledgeable technician staff.” The company prides itself on its superior apprenticeship program that allows aspiring technicians to get the education they need to succeed as a technician.

The AED Foundation is anticipating the opportunity to award more IRAPs in the future. These programs will help the Foundation achieve its Vision 2025 goals by providing the well-deserved recognition to apprenticeship programs in the industry, thereby increasing opportunity for individuals to become distinguished heavy equipment technicians.

AEDF Scholarship Deadline Extended Through December 31, 2020  

After receiving a generous grant of $300,000 from The Caterpillar Foundation in March, The AED Foundation (AEDF) announced that it would be offering $2,000 scholarships to high school students. Initially, the scholarship was only offered to those attending an AEDF recognized high school program. The Foundation opened the opportunity to any junior or senior high school student in North America planning to attend an AEDF accredited college program.  

AEDF has decided to extend this opportunity through December 31, 2020. The scholarship is an exciting opportunity for high school students to learn more about the equipment distribution industry’s jobs. In fact, individuals who have worked as technicians in the industry for just five years can earn up to $100,000 per year. When comparing the amount students save in an accredited program to a four-year college program, combined with salary expectations, a career path as a technician is undoubtedly worth looking into for students with interest in the heavy equipment industry.  

With more students attending AEDF’s accredited college program, the industry will see an increase in qualified technicians entering the workforce. This will directly assist the Foundation in meeting its Vision 2025 goals. If you know a student who would be the right candidate for this scholarship, we hope you will encourage them to apply before the December 31 deadline!  

Find the first portion of the scholarship application here, which takes students less than five minutes to complete! 

Discover the Phases of Becoming a Technician!

The AED Foundation’s new Journey of a Certified AEDF Technician video takes viewers through all of the stages a student with interest in the industry can go through with Foundation support. Each scene showcases various resources that the Foundation offers to help students prepare for a career as a heavy equipment technician. This blog post will cover all of these resources and the stages students must go through to become Certified AEDF Technicians.  

The AED Foundation helps students as young as 13 consider a career as a heavy equipment technician by participating in the Construction Career Aptitude Test. This free test was designed for students aged 13-17, making it ideal for teens interested in industry-related topics. The Construction Career Aptitude Test allows these students to put their knowledge to the test and identify key strengths and weaknesses in their learning, covering subjects like general mathematics, basic electrical, safety and more.  

After completing the Construction Career Aptitude Test, students with an AEDF recognized high school program in their area can attend the program to continue to build their knowledge on the heavy equipment industry. Students will begin to learn about AEDF’s six core competencies in these recognized programs. The High School Certification Test is offered at the end of the program to test students’ skills.  

If a student doesn’t have access to a recognized high school program but still wants to sharpen their heavy equipment industry knowledge before training to become a technician, they can participate in AEDF’s new stackable credentials programs. These programs are entirely online and can be completed in students’ downtime at home. By earning these credentials, high school students demonstrate their commitment to industry education and stand out from peers by preparing themselves for their technician training post-graduation. All high school students interested in a career in the heavy equipment industry can benefit from the stackable credentials programs.  

All junior and senior high school students currently have the opportunity to apply for The AED Foundation Scholarship if they plan to attend an AEDF accredited college program. If accepted, the student will receive $2,000 towards their education to become a Certified AEDF Technician. Application deadlines have recently been extended through December 31, 2020, and can be found here 

After graduating from high school, students become AEDF Certified Technicians by attending an AEDF Accredited College Program. These programs, available across North America, have been tailored to meet the Foundation’s rigorous standards for students, offering those who attend the programs a superior education to prepare them for the workforce. These two-year programs teach students all of the six core competencies in detail. Before becoming an AEDF Certified Technician, students must take the AEDF Certified Technician Test at the end of the program.  

Beyond becoming a Certified AEDF Technician, technicians can take one of AEDF’s Certified Manager Programs to develop the skills needed to advance into a management role at a dealership, if desired. These programs offer various options for whatever management role a technician may be working towards, including branch management, parts management, sales management, rental management and service management.  

To see all of these phases of becoming a technician in action, watch our Journey of a Certified AEDF Technician Video

Watch the video here!

Where Can I Find the Construction Career Aptitude Test?  

Since the launch of The AED Foundation’s (AEDF) free Construction Career Aptitude Test in September, over 180 students have completed the test. AEDF’s Construction Career Aptitude Test aims towards students aged 13-17 who are interested in the heavy equipment industry or industry-related topics to gauge their knowledge. The 50 question test helps students determine their strengths and weaknesses before pursuing a career in the industry.   

Some of the free test topics include general mathematics, basic measurement, mechanical reasoning, and safety. Students interested in any of these topics are encouraged to take the test to see how they score in each category. With the results immediately available after completion, it is quick and easy for students to test their industry skillset.  

Also, this test provides valuable benchmarking data for instructors. After students finish the test, instructors can quickly review the results to ensure they spend more time with their students on their struggling topics. The Construction Career Aptitude Test takes some of the guesswork out of the equation for both students and instructors, allowing students to start on a rewarding career path that is right for them.  

Students can take the test at bit.ly/AEDFAptitude. To sign up for an account, head to aedflearning.org and use voucher code 6HN8894P. For help getting your account set up, watch our instructional video here.  

The AED Foundation is proud to be able to offer this test at no cost to students.  AEDF hopes to engage students in the Construction Career Aptitude Test and other new resources like the stackable credentials programs.

The Annual Campaign: What’s New in 2020?

While 2020 has caused global changes that none of us could have foreseen, The AED Foundation (AEDF) has made great efforts to continue its mission to provide resources to the equipment industry. This year, the Foundation has innovated many new additions that will help us achieve our Vision 2025 goals and effectively reduce the workforce shortage.  

The Construction Career Aptitude Test is one of the Foundation’s newest resources for high school students. The free test is 50 questions and provides students and instructors information on how students score on industry topics like measurement, basic electrical, mechanical reasoning and more. As of late October 2020, over 180 students have taken the test.  

The AED Foundation’s Stackable Credentials programs are another resource for high school students. These courses can be completed online and help students interested in the heavy equipment industry to earn valuable credentials before graduating from high school. These credentials allow students to stand out from their peers by demonstrating their dedication and knowledge of the industry. Currently, students can participate in stackable credentials programs for safety and electronics, and more are underway!  

In March, The Caterpillar Foundation announced it would provide The AED Foundation with a generous grant of $300,000 to go towards scholarships for high school students planning to attend an AEDF accredited college program. This generous donation helps The AED Foundation combat the workforce shortage by providing more students with a quality, industry-recognized education. The Foundation has recently extended the deadline for scholarship applications through the end of 2020. Know a student interested in attending an accredited program? Encourage them to apply today!  

In September, The AED Foundation launched its Journey of a Certified AEDF Technician video. This video follows the lives of two students who progress from early childhood through college with the help of AEDF’s resources and become Certified AEDF Technicians. The purpose of the video was to show how the Foundation plays an essential role in introducing students to the industry and helping them to gain the knowledge needed to become successful industry technicians. Watch the video here 

Most recently, The AED Foundation is proud to have been named the Standards Recognition Entity (SRE) by the U.S. Department of Labor. This distinction allows the Foundation to recognize apprenticeship programs at AED members’ dealerships. With AEDF as the official SRE for the industry, technicians who aren’t interested in or don’t have access to an AEDF accredited college program can receive a quality education recognized throughout the industry.  

The Foundation plans to continue to expand its opportunities across the industry in 2021 to help tackle the workforce shortage. For any questions regarding The AED Foundation’s annual campaign, please contact associate director of development and workforce, Martin McCormack, at mmccormack@aednet.org 

The Annual Campaign: Where do Donations go?

The AED Foundation’s (AEDF) Annual Campaign is the primary source of funding for the Foundation. Our donors’ support is essential to keeping the Foundation’s resources available and open to new possibilities. Through the annual campaign, the Foundation’s donations go towards four primary categories, including college accreditation, career promotion, professional education, and research.  

Accreditation plays a crucial role in expanding AEDF’s opportunities across North America. The Foundation’s Vision 2025 goal aims to accredit 100 college programs by 2025. This goal hopes to provide students with quality education and reduce the skills gap. To accredit one college program, it costs roughly $90,000 in expenses, making donations from AED members essential to achieving The AED Foundation’s mission.   

Career promotion involves AEDF’s efforts to spread the word about The Foundation’s resources. The newest method of career promotion, AEDF’s Journey of a Certified AEDF Technician video showcases all of the Foundation’s currently available resources. This year alone, The AED Foundation has released several e-learning opportunities targeted towards high school students that supplement industry education, including the Construction Career Aptitude Test and Stackable Credentials Programs. Career promotion helps to inform AED dealer members, students, schools and parents about the Foundation’s available opportunities to get students on track to enter a rewarding career in the equipment industry.  

The Foundation’s professional education includes the online resources that AEDF offers industry professionals seeking resources to meet their career goals. These involve the Foundation’s Certified Manager Programwebinars and seminars. Vision 2025’s goals surrounding professional education comprise of certifying 500 managers. Contributions to The AED Foundation’s Annual Campaign make providing these resources possible and help aspiring industry leaders to move forward.  

In addition to these resources, the Foundation diligently conducts industry research to optimize the benefits it can provide. This research includes the Technician Shortage Research Report, which showcases how the skills gap affects the industry financially.  

The Foundation would like to thank its board members for their support and leadership and all donors who help to make AEDF’s goals possible for the industry. To donate to The AED Foundation’s Annual Campaign, visit bit.ly/2020aedfcampaign. For more information about The AED Foundation’s Annual Campaign, please contact AEDF’s associate director of development and workforce, Martin McCormack, at mmccormack@aednet.org.  

Annual Campaign Q & A with The AED Foundation’s Associate Director of Development and Workforce, Martin McCormack 

With The AED Foundation’s Annual Campaign being the topic of focus for our brand awareness campaign this month, AEDF plans to answer any questions you may have! The AED Foundation’s associate director of development and workforce, Martin McCormack, answered common questions about the campaign for this week’s blog post!   

How would you describe the annual campaign?  

The AED Foundation’s Annual Campaign is the primary fundraising tool the Foundation uses to ensure that it has the needed resources to address its technician shortage’s mission. Funds raised through the Annual Campaign go towards providing a more stable future for the industry.   

Why do you think this campaign is essential to The AED Foundation and the equipment industry?  

The Annual Campaign is essential to the equipment distribution industry because it provides needed funds to ensure that The AED Foundation can expand its efforts on behalf of the industry, notably increasing entry-level technicians’ quantity and quality through its school partnership program.   

What were the major highlights from the 2020 Annual Campaign?  

Like every industry, COVID-19 changed plans for The AED Foundation, but we pivoted to ensure that we could still deliver results for the industry, albeit in a more virtual way. Critical highlights for The AED Foundation this year that were made possible through the Annual Campaign include:   

  • One new accredited college program  
  • Ten newly recognized high school program  
  • Release of new industry-specific research report: “The Equipment Industry Technician Shortage: Reassessing Causes, Impacts and Policy Recommendations  
  • Introduction of a new learning center, which includes everything from industry-specific webinars, educational programs for management tracks, industry-specific certifications and technical testing.   
  • Release of the Foundation’s “Lifecycle of Technician” video  
  • Approval as Standards Recognition Entity (SRE) for the Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP)   

What would you tell a company that was thinking about donating to the campaign?  

The skills gap and the industry’s shortage of qualified technicians cost the industry over $2.4 billion in potential revenue. Contributions to The AED Foundation go directly toward addressing the technician shortage and ensuring that the equipment industry’s future is bright.   

What makes the Annual Campaign successful year after year?  

AED members who generously support the Foundation’s Annual Campaign are the ones who make our fundraising efforts successful. In turn, the financial support allows the Foundation to better support the industry’s future and expand on initiatives, like our accreditation program, that has proven to be a useful tool at addressing the technician shortage.    

A special thank you to The AED Foundation and AED Board of Directors for their support for the Annual Campaign and other Foundation fundraising initiatives. Without their strong support, the campaign would not be as successful.   

Do individuals and companies receive any benefits for contributing to the campaign?  

Yes. Benefits, which vary based on the level of contribution, include:   

  • Access to on-demand and recorded webinars  
  • Recognition in CED magazine, on the Foundation’s website, and at AED’s Summit  
  • Access to Heroes MAKE America program recruitment lists  
  • Complimentary tickets to The AED Foundation Fundraising Gala in 2021  

Can you give us a sneak peek of what is in store for 2021?  

The AED Foundation is in a growth phase. 2021 will be vital in continuing to build upon past successes and looking ahead to achieve our Vision 2025 goals, which include: 100 accredited college programs, 50 recognized high school programs, 10,000 skilled technicians entering the workforce, 500 certified managers, and 5,000 certified technicians. The Foundation team in 2021 will also work on promoting the new IRAP program and expanding its accredited college program.   

How can members contribute?  

AED members can contribute to the Annual Campaign online, by phone or email, or mail. You can visit bit.ly/2020aedfcampaign to donate. I can be reached at 630-642-9108 or mmccormack@aednet.org to take a credit card payment or pledge. No matter how you choose to invest in The AED Foundation, your contribution will go toward tackling the technician shortage. Your support matters!   

Where can our members find more information about this campaign?  

AED members can find more information about the Annual Campaign at bit.ly/2020aedfcampaign or contact me at 630-642-9108 or mmccormack@aednet.org.   

How are the donations allocated?  

Contributions to the Annual Campaign allow The AED Foundation to run its day to day operation and support our key focus areas: accreditation, career promotion, and research.   

For any further questions about the annual campaign, you can reach Martin McCormack at mmccormack@aednet.org.   

AEDF’s Annual Campaign: What is It?

The AED Foundation is proud to offer a multitude of services to industry members of all ages. These resources can be viewed in the Foundation’s new Journey of an AED Foundation Certified Technician Video. The AED Foundation has been hard at work to roll out new resources, focusing on the high school level to reduce the skills gap and the industry workforce shortage.  

This goal has led to creating the Vision 2025 Campaign, allowing the Foundation to set milestones to close the industry skills gap readily. Upon completing this campaign, AEDF will have built a steady flow of qualified technicians entering the equipment industry. Vision 2025 includes reaching the following targets:  

  • 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  

With the cost of accrediting just one college program exceeding $90,000, it is essential that all members donate to help us reach our Vision 2025 goal that will effectively reduce the workforce shortage. Without the donations of AEDF’s generous supporters, the Foundation would not offer these services to students and industry professionals. As a non-profit organization, AEDF largely relies on AED members’ donations to continue to provide learning opportunities that will benefit the industry immensely in the long run.  

The Foundation wants to thank everyone who has continued to support its mission with generous donations. Your help is vital to continuing to offer our services to continue to benefit the industry. For more information about AEDF’s annual campaign, please contact the Foundation’s associate director of development and workforce, Martin McCormack, at mmccormack@aednet.org. 

The Five Ways to Become AEDF Certified

The AED Foundation (AEDF) offers premier educational programs for high school and college students planning to become diesel technicians, but opportunities from AEDF don’t stop there. The Foundation provides aspiring managers with self-study courses to develop their knowledge on specialized topics and course bundles, known as Certified Manager Programs (CMP). These programs differ based on individual career goals at a dealership. Essential courses, including financial management, people management and sales/customer service management, are featured in all CMPs. The remaining courses in each program are focused on the specific needs of the department in the dealership.

The Foundation has broken down the details of each program, including salary averages and course load below:

Parts Manager Certification Program
Participants in the Parts Manager Certification Program will gain general leadership skills, develop planning techniques specific to parts department needs, and learn how to optimize customer benefits and sales.

  • Courses: Financial Management 101 & 102, People Management 101,102 & 103, Sales/Customer Service 101, Parts Management 101, Parts Management 201, Final Certification Test
  • Salary Expectations: 50K-75K

Service Manager Certification Program
AEDF’s Service Manager Certification Program covers both general leadership courses as well as service management courses. Participants can expect to learn about service operation standards, selling techniques and service management tips.

  • Courses: Financial Management 101 & 102,People Management 101, 102 & 103,Sales/Customer Service 101,Service Management 101,Service Management 201, Final Certification Test
  • Salary Expectations: 55K-85K

Branch Manager Certification Program
The Foundation’s Branch Manager Certification Program offers the opportunity not only to learn essential leadership skills, but gain background knowledge on parts management, rental management and service management to manage all areas of the branch effectively.

  • Courses: Financial Management 101 & 102, People Management 101, 102 & 103, Sales/Customer Service 101, Parts Management 101, Service Management 101, Rental Management 101, Final Certification Test
  • Salary Expectations: 75K-145K

Sales Manager Certification Program
The AED Foundation’s Sales Manager Certification Program allows participants to gain leadership skills and refine their sales techniques, with key knowledge on how to retain and motivate your team and forecast sales.

  • Courses: Financial Management 101 & 102, People Management 101, 102 & 103, Sales/Customer Service 101, Sales Leadership 101, Sales Leadership 201, Final Certification Test
  • Salary Expectations: 80K-160K

Rental Manager Certification Program
AEDF’s Rental Manager Certification Program features courses that help develop professional leadership skills and training on fundamental parts of the position, including rental management, rental sales, and rental operations.

  • Courses: Financial Management 101 & 102, People Management 101, 102 & 103, Sales/Customer Service 101, Rental Management 101, Rental Management 201, Rental Management 301, Final Certification Test
  • Salary Expectations: 50K-85K

With The AED Foundation’s Certified Manager Program, your employees can feel confident in taking on their role in a management position. To learn more about AEDF’s Certified Manager Programs, please contact the Foundation’s Vice President of Education and Programs, Liz McCabe, at lmccabe@aednet.org.

Advance Your Career with The AED Foundation’s Self-Study Courses Today!

Whether you’re looking to grow within a current role as a manager or aspire to enter a management position, The AED Foundation (AEDF) offers resources to help you develop the fundamental knowledge to your success. Whatever the next step in your career path looks like, AEDF’s self-study courses can help you stand out from the crowd and display your commitment to continuous learning and improvement. Self-study courses can be taken individually to work on a particular subject, or as a bundle to complete one of the Foundation’s Certified Manager Programs (CMP).  

Self-study courses are an ideal option in today’s world, as they can be taken according to your schedule. Whether you’re willing to put in the time to complete a course bundle expediently, or would prefer to take time finishing the courses, you can work at your own pace. A course bundle, AEDF’s Certified Manager Program, can be completed in less time than it takes to finish a semester of college, meaning you can get a step closer to your career goals in a matter of months.  

The courses are completed online, making it easy to earn a certification from your home’s comfort. From the course material to the final certification test, participants looking to level up their careers can earn this credential from anywhere.  

The CMP is ideal for industry professionals seeking professional development and recognition from peers. After completing the program, the certification can be utilized to demonstrate their dedication to building skills that will last a lifetime.  

The Foundation understands that there are various management positions within the dealerships and hopes to assist all management areas in helping the dealership and its employees succeed. The self-study courses that are available are as diverse as the management roles within your dealership, including certified manager programs focused on:  

Whatever your management goals may be, AEDF’s self-study courses will offer the education to help you progress through your career. For more information on The AED Foundation’s self-study courses, please contact AEDF’s Vice President of Education and Programs, Liz McCabe, almccabe@aednet.org