Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/536658
>> WORKFORCE SOLUTIONS KIM PHELAN N o one thought the president of the college would show up at the very moment she did. ey had done it; the dozen or so diesel students at Central Arizona College (CAC) had dismantled an engine and put the whole thing back together – and now, huddled around their masterpiece, this was their moment of truth. Would it start? en in walks President Doris Helmich, on one of her spontaneous tours around the campus. "Well, you better show the president that all the work you did is worth it and that it's going to start," said their instructor. Helmich tells the rest of the story: "Not only did they start it, they revved it up till my ears hurt, but it was really cool to see their faces, because they were so proud of themselves, to be able to take something that wasn't work- ing to a state where it was not only working, it was purring. My husband [a diesel mechanic] taught me how to listen to an engine and I can pretty much tell if it's running well or not – and they did a great job." CAC's diesel program achieved AED accreditation in 2012 – aer several years of false starts due to needed equipment and changing standards – and both Helmich and program director Garrett Hurt are very proud of what they've got going there in Coolidge, Ariz. ey're also clearly grateful for the enormous support and benefit they receive from e AED Foundation and their local equipment dealerships. Four days before the school's May 15 Commencement – where 12 diesel students were going to graduate – the two leaders sat together around a conference table in Helmich's office to share with CED what national accreditation means to them – and their story parlays perfectly into a symbol of what AEDF is accomplish- ing around the U.S. By connecting dealers and manufacturers with their local technical schools, the curriculum bar is being lied to the high AED industry standards written and regularly updated by e Founda- tion's Technical Training Committee (TTC), which is comprised of experts from dealerships, OEMs, and educa- tors. In fact, Hurt himself was asked to join the committee last year, and he has enjoyed both listening and contributing to the discussions and debates about the most important things to teach today's up-and- coming technicians. Keep a Good Thing Going – Act Now And the whole thing works, beauti- fully! Because of these microcosms of industry-education partnership – currently 39 programs at 29 accredited schools – hundreds of students around the country are graduating with the skills and knowledge needed on the shop floors of AED member service departments. And a fresh generation of highly trained technicians is just what this industry needs most as Baby Boomers retire, taking all their experi- ence with them. But instead of ramping up for accelerated growth of the AED accreditation model, e Foundation Living Proof – AED Accreditation Works! So Don't Let This Workforce Engine Sputter and Die 28 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | June 2015 This would be a terrible time for a setback Doris Helmich became president of CAC in 2012. "I remember the announcement and I was really impressed that one of our career and technical programs had reached national accreditation status," she said.