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 

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 

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 2025, 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.

What are Stackable Credentials and Why do They Matter?

As the Foundation continues to encourage students to take an interest in the equipment industry, The AED Foundation (AEDF) works to deliver a new method of providing education to high school students this fall: stackable credentials.  

Stackable credentials consist of a way to educate students with online courses that build upon one another. The goal with stackable credentials is to allow students to become familiar with industry knowledge and practices early on. AEDF believes that this education will assist students in growing into highly competent industry technicians. By drawing the attention of students and showcasing the significance of quality education from early on, The AED Foundation strongly believes that this will help reduce the workforce shortage.   

The focuses for these credentials are based on the core competencies in AEDF’s technical standards.  

To put it in perspective, once a student has completed all of the courses for electrical/electronics, for example, they can move on to completing the courses for the following competency. These credentials build on each other to create a well-rounded, knowledgeable and qualified student. Stackable credentials offer students an informative introduction to the industry that provides them with a solid foundation of base knowledge.  

As these students move on from high school into either a career or one of AEDF’s accredited college programs, they will find that these credentials put them ahead of classmates or others who are new to the industry. With a familiar background in each of the core competencies, students can move confidently through an accredited college program, focusing on these competencies.  

Students who complete AEDF’s stackable credentials show employers that they take their education seriously. No matter what route students decide to choose, earning stackable credentials offers more flexibility and opportunity within their career path. Students gaining more knowledge from an early age helps them succeed while also relieving instructors of some of the stress in educating students new to the industry. In addition, dealers can benefit from hiring a student that stands out from the crowd with these credentials.  

The AED Foundation is excited to launch stackable credentials to encourage more high schoolers to enter the equipment industry. Students who receive stackable credentials will be more prepared for their future in the industry, but they display their dedication and commitment to becoming educated in the industry. 

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 http://aedfoundation.org/vision-2025/

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.