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.

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 2024 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 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 

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. For any questions on high school recognition or college accreditation, please contact technical program manager Linley Thompson at lthompson@aednet.org

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.

For more information on the Foundation’s Construction Career Aptitude Test, 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.   

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 2024 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 2024 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 2024 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.