The AED Foundation (AEDF) is pleased to announce that today the U.S. Department of Labor approved AEDF as a Standards Recognition Entity (SRE) for mobile heavy equipment mechanics (except engines), farm equipment mechanics and service technicians, bus and truck mechanics, and diesel engine specialists. As an approved SRE, The AED Foundation will be able to guide AED members as they launch Industry Related Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPS). “AED and the AEDF are very proud to receive this important designation from the Department of Labor. This will allow us to assist our members in creating and managing IRAP’s for their future employees,” stated AED President & CEO Brian P. McGuire. “I want to commend the AEDF staff, particularly COO Jason Blake for diligently working through the rigorous application process.”

In June 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order on Expanding Apprenticeships in America, directing the Secretary of the Department of Labor to consider proposing regulations that promote the development of apprenticeship programs by third parties. The Task Force on Apprenticeship recommended the establishment of Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs to address America’s skills gap and to rapidly increase the availability of high-quality apprenticeship programs in sectors where apprenticeship opportunities are not widespread.

“As workers seek to reenter the workforce following the economic disruption caused by coronavirus, Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs and the SREs that recognize them will provide new opportunities for Americans to earn a living while learning the skills needed in a changing job market,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “I encourage industry leaders, educators, and others to consider forming SREs to help drive the expansion of apprenticeships and assist in the economic rebound. In these challenging times, the new apprenticeship opportunities created by IRAPs can open doors to good-paying jobs in industries such as telecommunications, health care, cybersecurity, and other sectors.”

IRAPs are high-quality apprenticeship programs recognized by third-party entities – SREs – under standards established by the department’s recently issued Final Rule. As described in the Final Rule, the department may recognize various types of organizations as SREs, including trade groups, companies, educational institutions, state and local governments, non-profits, unions, joint labor-management organizations, and certification and accreditation organizations. 

“Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs provide an additional apprenticeship pathway that is industry-led and market-driven,” said Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training John P. Pallasch. “Through these programs, individuals will be able to obtain valuable workplace-relevant training and learn progressively advancing skills, resulting in an industry-recognized credential, all while getting paid for their work.”

For more information on how to participate in this program, please contact Jason Blake of The AED Foundation at jblake@aednet.org.