The AED Foundation Certifies More Than 1,400 Diesel Technicians

Schaumburg, IL – Since January 2018, the AED Foundation’s (AEDF) testing program has resulted in the addition of 1,405 AEDF Certified Technicians in heavy equipment. This critical milestone serves as an exemplary industry program model to alleviate North America’s diesel technician workforce shortage while simultaneously supporting the Foundation’s goal of producing 5,000 AED certified technicians by 2025. This ambitious goal intends to increase the pipeline of qualified technicians via the AEDF Technical Standards and helps technicians showcase their skillsets to peers, superiors, and employers.
The AED Foundation’s Executive Vice President and COO Jason Blake states, “The Foundation is extremely proud to have certified this many technicians to date, but there is still more work to be done. AEDF’s Vision 2024 goal to certify 5,000 technicians will raise the bar for technicians across the industry and bring more qualified workers into this career path. Reaching this goal will help the Foundation to assist AED members in finding high-quality technicians to employ at their dealerships.”
The AEDF Certified Technician Test includes 160 questions developed by industry leaders, testing students’ knowledge of essential industry standards and technician best practices derived from AEDF’s six core competencies. Technicians who become certified demonstrate their commitment to the heavy equipment industry and stand out from their peers in the applicant pool. This program allows technicians to show off their skills and receive a certificate proving their expertise after completing the program.
For more information on The AED Foundation’s Certified Technician Program, click here or contact AEDF’s Technical Program Manager Linley Thompson at lthompson@aednet.org.

AEDF’s Certified Technician Program: The Steps to Becoming Certified

The AED Foundation’s Certified Technician Program offers technicians the opportunity to earn a certification that displays their knowledge and expertise in the industry. Certified Technicians have proven that they are a top-tier technician by passing the Certified Technician Test. This title helps technicians stand out from their peers and shows customers that they meet industry standards to maintain their equipment properly. This blog will walk dealers and technicians through the process of completing AEDF’s Certified Technician Program.  

The first step in the Certified Technician Program is purchasing the certified technical test. This test can be purchased for $100 for members or $200 for non-members. Purchasing the test and accessing the online testing area is made simple for dealers, as the process is completed entirely online. Once purchased, dealers will receive their login and password information to access and review results and benchmarking data. Technicians taking the test will receive their login information to access the test.  

Test takers will get 120 minutes to complete the 160-question test. Technicians must receive a score of 70 percent or high to achieve the certification. The certified technical test may be taken twice with no additional fee to the organization. Upon completion, results are immediately available to the organization. Test questions are based on AEDF’s six core competencies: diesel engine, power trains, electric/electronics, A/C and heating, hydraulics/hydrostatics, and safety/administration.  

Technicians that pass will be mailed their credential materials which include a certificate and wallet card. Certified Technicians may purchase a kit that consists of a certificate wood frame, logo hat, lapel pin, two uniform patches, and toolbox decals.  

If you’re interested in offering the certified technician program to technicians at your dealership, please contact technical program manager Linley Thompson at lthompson@aednet.org. 

An Overview of The AED Foundation’s Certified Technician Program

The AED Foundation’s (AEDF) Certified Technician Program offers technicians the opportunity to showcase the skills they have earned as a technician in the equipment industry. One can become a certified AEDF technician through an AEDF accredited college program or complete the Foundation’s technical test. For technicians, this test is beneficial as it allows them to test their knowledge and prove that they meet industry standards. With an AEDF certification, technicians have a credential that demonstrates their capabilities to dealers and peers alike.

A dealer who provides their technicians with access to this program shows their customers that they value their technicians’ performance and capability. These certifications stand out to customers as a symbol of excellence, meaning they can trust the dealer to service their equipment effectively. Investing in your technicians’ education is a great way to show them that you value the hard work they put into their careers. Certifying technicians is a great way to level up your dealership, and as an AED member, you can purchase the test for half the price that nonmembers pay, at just $100. This certification is a tangible way for technicians to display their commitment to the equipment industry.

After the certification is earned, technicians will receive credential materials, a certificate and a wallet card. Certified Technicians can also purchase a kit that includes a certificate wood frame, a logo hat, a lapel pin, two uniform patches and toolbox decals.

For more information about AEDF’s Certified Technician Program, please contact the Foundation’s technical program manager Linley Thompson at lthompson@aednet.org.

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 2024 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! For any questions about The AED Foundation’s scholarship opportunities, please contact AEDF’s technical program manager Linley Thompson at lthompson@aednet.org 

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 2024 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 

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 2024 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.   

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.

How AEDF Accredited College Programs Can Benefit Your Dealership

The AED Foundation’s (AEDF) accreditation program offers students the opportunity to become AEDF Certified Technicians upon graduation, an industry-recognized credential that is just the start of a promising career.

By achieving 100 accredited college programs by 2024, students who pass the certification ultimately benefit AED’s dealer members. Through the Foundation’s efforts to accredit college programs, effectively helping to reduce the workforce shortage, dealers will find that they have more candidates to choose from who have received extensive training. As the Foundation continues to work to broaden its student-reach by additional accredited programs, dealers in North America are met with the opportunity to hire a top-tier applicant to be a part of their organization.

The AEDF certification directly communicates the intensive education and training that the technician has been through to complete their schooling. Accredited programs are required to be re-evaluated every five years to ensure they continue to meet the Foundation’s rigorous standards. Upon completion, certified technicians have the experience and expertise needed to begin their industry careers.

Hiring AEDF Certified Technicians shows your commitment to your customers and the quality of work and effectiveness that your dealership displays. Customers can recognize the technicians’ hard-earned title and feel assured that their equipment is receiving unmatched service quality. One AEDF Certified Technician can bring in $250,000 to the dealership. This produces long-term financial excess for dealers, making certifying a technician a worthy investment to dealers.

Through accredited college programs, The AED Foundation is working to build a brighter future for industry dealers and technicians. Any questions regarding The AED Foundation’s accredited programs can be directed to the Foundation’s Technical Program Manager, Linley Thompson, at lthompson@aednet.org.

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/