Tag Archive for 'Associated Equipment Distributors (AED)'

The AED Foundation Embarks on Mission to Recognize 50 High School Programs by 2024

While the COVID-19 pandemic has put many of the nation’s activities and events on hold, The AED Foundation (AEDF) perseveres as it continues to meet its Vision 2024 goals. Through the pandemic, AEDF has adapted to continue to fit the needs of students and schools across the country to help students graduate from AEDF’s recognized high school programs. The Foundation has implemented an online proctoring system to maintain the technician test’s integrity while offering worry-free convenience to students and schools to make test-taking available 24/7.

Part of Vision 2024 focuses on recognizing 50 high school programs within the next four years. With Vision 2024 in mind, the Foundation anticipates more students graduating from these programs in the coming years. This aspect of the goal is essential, as the Foundation strives to make education at the high school level, the starting point for the industry’s prospective technicians. Jason Blake, COO of The AED Foundation, stated, “The Foundation’s high school recognition programs serve to prepare students for their careers as industry technicians. These programs work with AEDF’s accredited college programs to provide top tier, industry-recognized education to students.”

This process allows young people to become familiar with the equipment before they ever set foot in an equipment dealership, allowing them to be more confident in their abilities upon entering the workforce. Through recognizing additional high school programs across the country, the Foundation plans to engage high school students in a highly rewarding career path.

With The Caterpillar Foundation‘s generous grant to help the Foundation combat the industry workforce shortage, scholarships will be awarded to students who transition from an AEDF recognized high school program into an AEDF accredited college program. This scholarship program in itself is an incentive that serves to draw interest from both students and high schools.

The Foundation is currently working with several high schools in the recognition process to ensure their programs meet AEDF’s industry-recognized standards. AEDF is committed to meeting the ambitious Vision 2024 goal of 50 recognized high schools to implement positive change in the industry, leading technicians down a promising and credible path to their careers. Mirroring AED’s attention to members during the COVID-19 pandemic, The AED Foundation is working tirelessly to assist schools and students in this process in any way possible.

Established in 1919, Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) is an international trade association based in Schaumburg, IL, representing over 700 construction equipment distributors, manufacturers and industry- service firms nationwide. AED members sell, service and rent equipment to such markets as heavy and light construction, mining, agriculture, forestry, aggregates, engines and industrial.

Established in 1991 and directed by AED members, The AED Foundation (AEDF) addresses professional education and workforce development in the industry. This includes AEDF Accreditation of diesel- equipment technology college programs and AEDF Recognition of secondary dies

252 AEDF Technicians Certified Amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic Since Early March

The AED Foundation Works with Schools and Dealers to come up with innovative testing solutions while social distancing is in place.

While much of the nation has been put on pause due to the COVID-19 outbreak, The AED Foundation (AEDF) has been innovating new online testing opportunities to ensure technicians are still able to get certified. The AED Foundation’s Certified Technician Program holds technicians to an industry-recognized standard that helps them gain the skillset and qualifications to succeed in their careers. Since the beginning of March, 252 technicians have become certified.   

To make this number possible, The AED Foundation has resourcefully implemented online proctoring during this time, ensuring that students and technicians do not have to put their education plans on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an excellent accomplishment for dealers, schools and The Foundation to develop a timely solution allowing test-taking to continue. Online testing proves to be valuable to dealers to keep their technicians educated during this time. Thanks to this innovative testing solution and the flexibility of dealers and schools, online testing can ensure integrity that meets The Foundation’s standards. Online testing has not only offered a solution but allows ease for students and instructors as remote testing with proctoring is available 24/7.   

While many schools and dealerships, including Anderson Equipment Company, implemented online testing, some found other solutions to test students through the pandemic safely. Many of the CAT ThinkBIG programs, which represent approximately 1/3 of AEDF accredited college programs, divided students into small groups to comply with social distancing guidelines. These groups were sent to multiple CAT dealership buildings within the area to provide proctored tests without compromising students’ safety.   

This solution demonstrates that The AED Foundation is always willing to do what it takes to help students and technicians succeed. The Foundation’s Vision 2024 goal strongly focuses on certifying more technicians to combat the industry workforce shortage. Jason Blake, COO and Executive Vice President of the Foundation stated: “The efforts of The AED Foundation’s accredited colleges and dealers to implement new testing solutions during this time displays a commitment to education and workforce development within the industry that will build a bright future of skilled technicians.”   

The AED Foundation is proud of the accredited school programs and dealers they have been able to assist in achieving this high number of certified technicians despite the challenges the past few months have presented. The Foundation will continue to look for ways to improve students’ and technicians ’ experiences and accommodate them through whatever difficulties may arise.  

AED’s McGuire Tells Lawmakers: “There are No More Excuses”

Following the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s approval of the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment & Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act (H.R. 2) earlier today, AED’s President & CEO Brian P. McGuire issued the following statement:

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was long overdue for our leaders in Washington to provide substantial, long-term surface transportation investments to rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Now, it’s absolutely necessary as the United States stares directly into a significant economic downturn, state Departments of Transportation are unable to fund future construction projects and equipment dealers and their customers are facing significant uncertainty.”

“AED members across the country have seen demand for construction equipment purchases and rentals decreasing rapidly as the backlog of pre-COVID-19 construction projects diminishes. The dismal assessment will necessitate tough decisions from the small-medium-sized family-owned companies regarding employment and business investment, particularly as federal programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) end in the coming months. Indeed, even with generous government loans, devoid of long-term funding for surface transportation projects, business at equipment dealerships will grind to a halt compelling drastic employment reductions.”

“Now is not the time for partisanship. The future of our country’s economic well-being and competitiveness is at stake. AED urges the House, Senate and the administration to work in a bipartisan manner to expeditiously complete the surface transportation reauthorization process. There are no more excuses—everyone in Washington knows what needs to be done and now is the time to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure, put people back to work and generate economic growth for years to come.”

The INVEST in America Act is expected to be on the House floor in July. Meanwhile, the Senate’s bipartisan surface transportation bill (America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act), which was unanimously approved by the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee last summer, awaits further consideration.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, AED vociferously advocated for congressional action to provide long-term, infrastructure investments. Since mid-March the association has led the charge making the case that construction projects should proceed despite widespread shutdowns, urging governors to continue public works investment notwithstanding state revenue shortfalls and telling Congress and the administration that rebuilding America’s infrastructure must be the top policy priority immediately to spur economic growth.

House Introduces Surface Transportation Infrastructure Bill

On June 3, House Democratic Transportation & Infrastructure Committee leadership introduced the Invest in America Act, a five-year, $494 billion surface transportation reauthorization proposal, which is a 46 percent increase over current funding levels. The legislation is expected to be marked up by the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee in two weeks and, if approved, it will be considered on the House floor in July. 

The Senate’s bipartisan five-year, $287 billion surface transportation bill, America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), was approved by the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee last summer and awaits consideration by other Senate panels of jurisdiction. 

Unfortunately, neither proposal currently identifies revenue to pay for the investments, the main point of contention during highway bill debates. 

With the current highway program expiring on September 30 and the budget challenges faced by state and local governments, Congress must urgently take action to complete the reauthorization process to provide certainty to public works construction markets. 

After the introduction, AED’s President & CEO Brian P. McGuire released the following statement:

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was long overdue for our leaders in Washington to provide substantial, long-term surface transportation investments to rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Now, there’s a renewed necessity as the United States stares directly into a significant economic downturn, state Departments of Transportation are unable to fund future construction projects and equipment dealers and their customers are facing significant uncertainty.”

“AED urges Congress and the administration to immediately work in a bipartisan manner to complete the surface transportation reauthorization process. There should be no more excuses—everyone in Washington knows what needs to be done and now is the time to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure, put people back to work and generate economic growth for years to come.”

To view the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Invest in America Act Summary visit: https://transportation.house.gov/imo/media/doc/Final%20Bill%20Text%20of%20the%20INVEST%20in%20America%20Act.pdf

To view the Invest in America Act’s bill text visit: https://transportation.house.gov/imo/media/doc/Final%20Bill%20Text%20of%20the%20INVEST%20in%20America%20Act.pdf

Stay up-to-date on all things COVID-19  Looking to find more information on how COVID-19 is affecting the equipment distribution industry? Look no further than AED’s Coronavirus Update Center. Our members can find vital information on scheduling updates, industry news, newly constructed webinars and much more.
AED Coronavirus Update Center

AED Tells Mayors, Governors to Keep Construction Projects Going

On March 19, 2020,  Associated Equipment Distributors delivered letters to national organizations representing mayors, local elected officials and the nation’s governors, urging them to allow construction projects to continue while highlighting the equipment industry’s integral role in building and maintaining our nation’s essential infrastructure.

In a letter to the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities, AED was joined by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), delivering the message that, “shutting down construction projects in cities and towns not only jeopardizes continued relief and prevention efforts surrounding COVID-19, but will also exacerbate an already dire situation with little safety or health benefit.”

AED delivered a similar letter to the National Governors Association, imploring its members to reconsider halting construction projects across the country. Additionally, AED joined AEM and the Equipment Dealers Association in letters to all 50 governors stressing that equipment manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, and service technicians must be considered essential to economic continuity as governors continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the health and safety of all workers and residents.

In Washington D.C., AED has been working with business organizations to ensure lawmakers and the administration understand the importance of liquidity and access to capital for the equipment industry. AED joined allied business organizations outlining tax modifications that will help provide liquidity for small-medium-sized companies.

To view the letter to the League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, click here.

To view the letter to the National Governors Association, click here.

To view the letters to each Governor, click here.

Established in 1919, Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) is an international trade association based in Schaumburg, IL, representing over 700 construction equipment distributors, manufacturers and industry-service firms nationwide. AED members sell, service and rent equipment to such markets as heavy and light construction, mining, agriculture, forestry, aggregates, engines and industrial.