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We’ve seen the issues. We’ve heard the Issues. This is our Solution: Vision 2025

Addressing the technician workforce shortage is something that The AED Foundation (AEDF) understands needs to be taken seriously. Vision 2025 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 2025 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 2025 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 2025 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 2025 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 2025 goals to create opportunities for individuals and dealerships. To learn more information, visit https://aedfoundation.org/vision-2025/

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 2025 initiative, is creating a steady and robust pipeline of technicians for the future of the equipment distribution industry. By 2025, 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.”

AED Foundation Recognizes First in Nation High School Diesel Technician Program

Leaders of The AED Foundation last week traveled to Severn, Maryland to present Anne Arundel County Public Schools Center of Applied Technology (CAT) North with a Certification of Recognition for their cutting edge diesel technician program. “We are very pleased to present this recognition to a very deserving school,” stated AED Foundation Chairman Denny Vander Molen. “Though we have 42 diesel technician programs at 32 Accredited Colleges throughout the United States and Canada, this program in conjunction with Pennsylvania College of Technology, is the only high school program that meets our rigorous standards.”

Secondary or high school technical programs become AED Foundation Recognized by meeting technical standards that: a.) are locally developed and mutually agreed to by the secondary school, the local AED Accredited college program (in this case Pennsylvania College of Technology), and industry stakeholders; b.) are derived from and a subset of AED Foundation national technical college standards, and c.) provide a rational and seamless progression from secondary to college technical education.

“The technician shortage costs the construction and heavy equipment industry $2.4 billion per year. That’s money taken off of dealers’ bottom lines and out of the pockets of the men and women who already support our businesses. That’s lost opportunity and missed chances to pursue new customers and projects. That’s investment removed from the supply chain, sending ripples across the entire economy and into every industry, “ stated AED Foundation President Robert Henderson. “That’s why it’s so important that we develop programs like this at the high school level. We simply can’t wait until college any longer,” he added.

Joining the AED Foundation Leaders at the recognition ceremony were CAT North Principal Dan Schaffhauser, Assistant Principal Lori Chearney, Diesel Power Technology Instructor Jake Kepich, local AED Member Lucas Ochmann, Marketing Director for Security Equipment Company, Dean of Transportation & National Resource Technology Justin Beishline, Pennsylvania College of Technology and Deb Albert, Anne Arundel County Public Schools Coordinator of Career and Technology Education. “We really appreciate The AED Foundation coming here to recognize our program,” Albert stated. “Our message is that every student does not need to go to a four year college and come out with a mountain of debt. There are great careers in diesel technology and we want to help students get started,” she concluded.

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AED is an international trade association representing companies involved in the distribution, rental, and support of equipment used in construction, mining, energy, forestry, power generation, agriculture, and industrial applications.  More information is available at www.aednet.org.

The AED Foundation enhances the success of member companies by encouraging continuous learning, by providing educational opportunities for today’s employees, and by improving the availability and quality of equipment industry employees in the future. More information is available at aedfoundation.org.

AED Foundation Hosts Workforce Development Forum

The AED Foundation last week hosted a forum at the Hotel George on Capitol Hill to highlight workforce issues and the critical shortage of diesel technicians. North Carolina Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, Chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, provided the keynote address. “Across the country, there are men and women who are building roads and bridges; mining natural resources; harvesting crops; bringing lumber to market; and so much more. They could not succeed without the industrial equipment you and your workers manufacture and maintain,” Foxx remarked. “I appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and share what Congress is doing to close the skills gap and ensure workers are equipped with the skills they need to compete for today’s jobs. Like you, we’re doing everything we can to help build a brighter, more prosperous future for our country,” she added.

“We were pleased to have Rep. Foxx join us today and appreciate her commitment to providing solutions to key workforce issues,” stated Associated Equipment Distributors President and CEO Brian P. McGuire. McGuire added.

The AED Foundation also unveiled its new logo and tagline at the luncheon. The AED Foundation decided to refresh its logo to highlight the momentum stemming from a record fundraising event earlier this year and with an eye on the horizon for more technical colleges accredited in the US and Canada in 2017. “The logo reflects upward motion with the tread and the tagline better defining what the Foundation is about moving forward,” stated AED Foundation Chairman Denny Vander Molen. The new tagline “Constructing Paths To Opportunity” helps The AED Foundation appeal to a larger audience, including dealers and potential employees for our industry.”

The AED Foundation officially recognized its first  in the nation high school diesel technology program at Anne Arundel High School System’s Center of Applied Technology North in Severn, Maryland on April 6th.

AED Foundation Accredits North Dakota State College of Science Diesel Programs

The AED Foundation yesterday presented Certificates of Accreditation for the Diesel Technology-Komatsu A.A.S. Degree Program and Re-Accreditation of the Diesel Technology-General and Caterpillar Dealer Service Technician A.A.S. Degree Programs at North Dakota State College of Science. “We are pleased that you have chosen to demonstrate your commitment to academic excellence and continuous improvement through the accreditation process,” stated AED Foundation President Robert Henderson.

Accreditation by The AED Foundation signifies to equipment industry stakeholders that NDSCS’ programs have met rigorous industry-specific national construction equipment technical standards. It further signifies to current and prospective students that NDSCS programs provide the best in diesel-equipment technical education as defined by the industry they serve.

The term of accreditation is five years starting from the date shown on the Certificates of Accreditation. The AED Foundation relies on the awardee to maintain the standards upon which these accreditations were granted, and continue serving students with excellence. The AED Foundation currently lists 42 diesel technician programs at 32 Accredited Colleges throughout the United States and Canada. The AED Foundation recently recognized their first High School Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland earlier this month.

“The AED Foundation is dedicated to developing and improving construction equipment industry partnerships that meet the mutual needs of local dealers, manufacturers and technical colleges,” stated AED Foundation Chairman Denny Vander Molen. “We are proud to be affiliated with North Dakota State College of Science through these accreditations, and wish ongoing success for your fine programs.”

The AED Foundation Releases New Technician Workforce Research

THE EQUIPMENT INDUSTRY TECHNICAL WORKFORCE: ADDRESSING THE TECHNICIAN SHORTAGE 2017

A COLLEGE OF WILLIAM AND MARY RESEARCH STUDY COMMISSIONED BY THE AED FOUNDATION

This research study focuses on Career and Technical Education (CTE), one of the main proxies by which skilled technicians receive training to prepare them for the skilled-labor workforce. In the examination of CTE, this report seeks to identify the reasons for the collapse of high school CTE and the resulting effect on the economy. The report also identifies best practices at the secondary (and to a lesser extent, the postsecondary) education level in delivering successful CTE programs. Next, the report provides a detailed overview of CTE funding levels from federal and state sources. Finally, the report identifies key access points at the secondary and postsecondary education levels via individual state “playbooks”; AED members can use these playbooks as guides in contributing to closing the skills gap.

Click below to download the report:

Research Report — Part I
State Playbooks — Part II

Top 20 Reasons That Technician Recruitment Efforts Fail

Writer: Steve Johnson

We all know that Top 10, or “whatever number” lists, are popular in media today. At the risk of presenting “a list too long,” I figured this would still be a good approach to what I think is an important topic. Why do technician recruitment efforts fail?

There are, of course, the “uncontrollable” issues. These include things such as: demographics, parental and cultural bias, industry stereotypes and the “four-year degree syndrome.” Let’s not focus on these, but on what can be controlled. Yes, the uncontrollables are there, but we also know that many of you have overcome such obstacles and have creatively established highly successful recruitment programs.

I have been at AED for a number of years and have observed several things that “more than once” have stood out to me as potential self-inflicted obstacles to success. Here are the Top 20:

Lack of:

  1. Recruiting knowledge and processes – Is there resident or an outsourced expert at your dealership?
  2. Effectively managed recruitment plan – Is someone in charge of plan development and execution?
  3. Continuity; short and long-term – Do you turn recruitment programs on and off? It’s counter-productive.
  4. Resources: financial, material, human – Is the needed investment, per the plan, being made?
  5. Understanding tech job requirements – Who does the initial screening; are they trained?
  6. Interest level of those assigned – Do those involved and accountable care?
  7. Tenacity; persistence – Do those involved and accountable have “the fire in the belly?”
  8. Market knowledge – Do you know your target audience, competition, and job market dynamics?
  9. Engagement with local schools – Are there established solid relationships and involvement?
  10. New recruitment ideas – Are there opportunities for team brainstorming?
  11. Team decision making authority – Do good prospects disappear while waiting for a decision?
  12. Promotion and public relations – Do you have a formal plan with items that reinforce each other?
  13. Repetition – Is your recruitment message communicated repeatedly in various media and events?
  14. Assigned ownership and accountability – Is this person identified and assigned; with goals?
  15. Collective local industry efforts – Do you work with other local stakeholders to meet mutual needs?
  16. Tracking – Do you track recruitment outcomes and take corrective action
  17. Incentives (recovery rates, production goals) – Do they disincentivize journeyman mentors of new techs?
  18. Consistency – Does your recruitment team communicate the same message, or create confusion?
  19. Expectations of success – Do previous recruitment obstacles affect future optimism?
  20. Student and decision-influencer engagement – Do you spend time to develop these relationships?

The above can be valuable to you as a checklist of potential obstacles to your recruitment efforts. Of course, the converse of these items are potential controllable keys to success. I suggest you take a few minutes with your team to review your recruitment plan. See what is working and what may not be working. Develop new ideas and approaches; talk with others who have been successful. Again, recruitment success is attainable, as demonstrated by AED members who are successful technician recruiters.

Contact The AED Foundation or your AED Regional Manager to discover opportunities for your dealership in these areas.

AED Technical Assessments – How Are They Benefiting Dealers?

A Q&A with Charles Paradis of Brandeis Machinery & Supply Co.

Many AED dealers are using the AED Technical Assessment as pre-hire tool. We asked Charles Paradis, VP Human Resources and Compliance for Brandeis Machinery & Supply Co. in Louisville,,KY several questions about his experience using AED Technical Assessments. This is what he had to say about the benefits of using this hiring and training tool.

How does the AED technical assessments help you maintain a quality service technician staff?
The AED technical assessment provides numerous benefits that help us maintain a quality technician staff. It is useful in hiring decisions as well as developing existing technicians. It aids our trainers in knowing where our employees need additional training, and can help our managers identify top performers and those with increased aptitude.

How have AED technical assessments helped you in the hiring process? Have they saved you money?
Every applicant takes the AED technical assessment as part of the screening process during application. It is one of two assessments we ask our applicants to take, the other being a personality assessment. That being said, it is just one piece of many that we consider when looking at an applicant. Also, we recognize that not everyone has an equal ability as a test taker so the assessment is never used as a pass/fail criteria.

We track everyone who has every taken the assessment for us and create a rough scale identifying where the applicant falls in relation to others who have taken the assessment for us. We classify someone as having a score in one of the four quartile’s of assessment takers, and also note whether someone in the top quartile also fell within the top 10% of assessment takers for us.

The AED technical assessment helps us understand where an applicant’s skills and abilities may lie. It is particularly useful since it breaks out an applicant’s score into different categories, identifying where the applicant may be strong or weak. The assessment can also help us identify whether the applicant would be more suited for our apprentice program rather than going directly into our shop or one of our field service trucks.

At a minimum, the technical assessment saves us money by identifying an applicant’s current skill level and where he or she needs additional training.

Do you currently use AED technical assessments for existing service technicians? If so, how has it benefited your company?
After seeing such success using the AED technical assessment for technician applicants, we are beginning to roll it out to our existing employees. We would like to ensure every one of our technicians has taken the assessment. Our trainers are excited about the ability to get useful data on our technicians that they can then use to improve directed training where needed. Our managers are also excited about having existing technicians take the technical assessment to help ensure we are putting the best and most qualified personnel in the field and that we are doing everything in our power to provide our employees with feedback and training necessary to help them in their careers.

Interested in how AED Technical Assessments can help your dealership? Visit https://aedfoundation.org/faqs/ for more information.

25 Years of Building a Model for Dealer Success

Article by: Dennis Vander Molen, 2016 Chairman, The AED Foundation

In April of 1991, The AED Foundation (AEDF) was founded with the mission to enhance the success of member companies by encouraging continuous learning, providing educational opportunities for today’s employees, and improving the availability and quality of equipment industry employees in the future.

This month marks exactly 25 years as an organization and we are taking this opportunity to look back at how The AED Foundation has impacted our industry with the following:

  • Creation of national technical standards for college diesel technician curriculums
  • AED Foundation Accreditation Program that currently has 40 accredited programs at 30 colleges in U.S. and Canada
  • Development and implementation of technician pre-hire assessment
  • Development of industry-specific professional education delivered via webinars, seminars and online courses
  • Certification of over 80 managers at AED dealer members as a part of our certified manager training

New Features of the AED Foundation in 2016

The AED Foundation has already taken strides to enhance member’s services. A new Learning Management System allowing access to webinars in a live & “on demand” feature was implemented. If you haven’t already, take a couple moments to view this new system at https://lms.aedu.org/.

The Foundation has consistently been the champion for workforce development. AEDF commissioned a team of public policy researchers from the College of William and Mary to analyze the industry’s technician shortage based on a 2015 survey of AED’s members in North America. The report was release at 2016 AED Summit provides a series of recommendations including improvements to federal workforce policy and steps to strengthen community-based relationships for recruiting and developing talent. Full report can be found at http://bit.ly/AEDReportSkills

In February I visited with representatives in Washington D.C. to discuss how we can lead changes to many of the workforce issues identified in the report. AED will continue to build these relationships but I encourage you to do the same on a local level. Send the Skills report to your governor, elected official and anyone on a state level involved in workforce funding. If you have questions about the report please reach out to Steve Johnson at (630) 468-5134.

The AED Foundation accredited its first Canadian diesel technology college program. This affiliation is an important part of the Foundation’s school partnership strategy for North America; as well as AED’s strategy for Canadian members. In addition, the networking of college diesel-equipment technology programs across North America is beneficial for all the schools as well as the equipment industry. The Foundation has identified additional programs in Canada that could lead to additional accreditations.

Looking Forward

As we look ahead to the next 25 years, The AED Foundation is dedicated to continuously develop school partnership programs based on industry needs in partnership with AED-affiliated dealers, manufacturers, technical colleges, and volunteers.

However, AED dealers need to be involved in the development of industry too. I challenge you to step back and think about how you are currently using AEDF services. If the answer is not at all…why is that? The Foundation has many industry-specific services (seminars, webinars and certifications) to assist you as a company to grow and develop your talent pool. Start working with an AEDF accredited technical school if you aren’t already. Developing technicians takes time and resources, start planning now for you dealership future.

Finally support the future of the AED Foundation by investing in the 2016 Annual Campaign. You are supporting the progress The AED Foundation is making for the construction equipment industry as whole! Your tax-deductible donation will allow us to continue serving you better. Visit bit.ly/investaedf (case sensitive) to contribute online or contact Rebecca Lintow at (630) 468-5113; rlintow@aednet.org.