Dan Stracener, CEO, Tractor & Equipment Company; Ed Kirby, Chairman, Kirby-Smith Machinery; Michael Brennan, President and COO, Bramco; Rod Bull, EVP North America Region, Komatsu; Brian McGuire, President and CEO, AED
Komatsu has made a significant contribution to the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) Foundation. The $250,000 donation will support the AED’s Vision 2025 initiative, a project aimed at helping increase the number of qualified technicians entering the equipment distribution industry.
“We recognise the imperative to build a talent pipeline for our distributors and the heavy equipment industry at large,” Komatsu executive vice president North America region, Rod Bull, said.
“Komatsu supports Vision 2025 and its focus on helping schools promote careers in the technical field to young people, who often aren’t aware of the great family-supporting jobs available in this industry.
“We’re excited to do our part to share this story of opportunity to join an industry that keeps our world growing and sustains our way of life.”
Research by the AED Foundation has found that the industry needs to fill an anticipated 73,500 heavy equipment technician positions over the next five years, and that the technician shortage is compounded by a gap in required skills and available training.
With a fundraising goal of $10 million over the next five years, Vision 2025 funds will be directed toward:
- New college accreditation programs targeting underserved areas where an existing heavy equipment/diesel technology program is already in place
- High school recognition programs that will prioritise locations that can serve as a feeder system into current and anticipated accredited college programs
- Expanding the AED Foundation’s endowment to ensure Vision 2025 efforts are sustainable over the long term.
Komatsu’s donation brings the total amount pledged to Vision 2025 to $1.45 million on a target of $10 million.
If the project is successful, it has the potential to create a talent pipeline that includes an additional 10,000 skilled technicians entering the workforce, 5,000 AED Foundation-certified technicians and 500 AED Foundation-certified managers.