August 2014

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46 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | August 2014 Workforce Development in Action In an effort to help stakeholders in the equipment industry identify and work together to meet mutual work- force needs, The AED Foundation held its first bi-annual Instructors Conference, where equipment dealers, manufac- turers and technical colleges were able to meet, network and share best practices – 70 attendees in all. The three-day event, June 17-19, convened at Wahpe- ton's North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS). AED accredits two- and four-year college degree programs in Diesel-Equipment Technology, including several programs at NDSCS. During the conference, attendees networked at informal dinners, participated in discussion breakout sessions, heard presentations from industry leaders, and enjoyed a tour of the Bobcat Company manufacturing facility in Gwinner, N.D. "As directed by the industry through our Board of Directors, The AED Foundation speaks to the expressed needs of equipment dealers, manufacturers and technical colleges," said Steve Johnson, The AED Foundation's execu- tive director. "These constituent groups agreed there was a need for such a conference. Planning for this first event began in 2012. Expectations are that the conference will be held every two years. Bringing these industry professionals together provided them with a platform for discussing common industry challenges and solutions." Attendee and presenter Ivan Bullock, coordinator/ instructor for Diesel Technology/On-Site Power Programs at Idaho State University (ISU) program, says the conference met all its goals and attendees' expectations. "Everyone I've talked to thought the conference was a great success," he said. "Conferences are great places to meet other instructors who are teaching in the same field of study. We've all found successful ways to teach our curriculum. It's helpful to learn and share these successful We'd Better Be Listening If We Want to Survive And listen they did: Educators, dealers and manufacturers assembled at The AED Foundation's first-ever Instructors Conference in June to share best practices in developing the next generation of heavy equipment technicians. BY LORETTA SORENSON Attendees of The AED Foundation Instructors Conference, who came from all over North America, listen to one of the many group pre- sentations. The environment provided an opportunity for instructors to share ideas and best practices

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