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. 

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: