Komatsu has announced a $250,000 contribution towards Vision 2025, an AED (Associated Equipment Distributors) Foundation project aimed at helping to increase the number of qualified technicians entering the equipment distribution industry.
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.
Vision 2025 aims to address these issues by growing the foundation’s impact to include a minimum of 120 accredited college programs (currently 71), and a minimum of 200 recognised high school programs (currently 36). 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.
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; and
- Expanding the AED Foundation’s endowment to ensure Vision 2025 efforts are sustainable over the long term.
Komatsu’s Executive Vice President, North America Region, Rod Bull, said: “We recognise the imperative to build a talent pipeline for our distributors and the heavy equipment industry at large. 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.”
AED Foundation President, Brian McGuire, said: “The AED Foundation is grateful for Komatsu’s leadership and investment in our Vision 2025 campaign. Komatsu’s support, in conjunction with nearly 75 other investors, brings our Vision 2025 campaign to over $6 million. These investments provide the foundation the sustainability needed to continue to be the heavy equipment industry’s leader in workforce development.”
Including Komatsu’s donation, a total of $1.45 million has been pledged to the Vision 2025 campaign by Komatsu and its dealer network. Among dealers that have donated are Anderson Equipment Company, Berry Tractor & Equipment Company, Brandeis Machinery & Supply Company, C.N. Wood, Inc, Continental Equipment Company, Equipment Sales & Service Ltd, General Equipment & Supplies, Inc, Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc, Modern Machinery, Inc, Power Equipment Company, Road Machinery & Supplies Company, Roland Machinery Company, and Waukesha-Pearce Industries, LLC.