The U.S. Department of Labor has approved the AED Foundation (AEDF) as a Standards Recognition Entity (SRE) for heavy equipment or truck mechanics and service technicians, plus diesel engine specialists. The designation allows it to guide members of Associated Equipment Distributors, Schaumburg, Ill., as they launch Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs.
IRAP have emerged from President Donald Trump’s June 2017 Executive Order on Expanding Apprenticeships in America, which directed the Secretary of Labor to consider proposing regulations that promote apprenticeship program development by third parties. The Task Force on Apprenticeship recommended the establishment of IRAP to address America’s skills gap and to rapidly increase the availability of programs in sectors where apprenticeship opportunities are not widespread, excepting construction trades. A final Labor Department rule implementing the Executive Order details SRE and IRAP guidelines.
“Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs provide an additional apprenticeship pathway that is industry-led and market-driven,” says Labor Department Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training John 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.”
The AEDF’s SRE designation took place days after the Labor Department announced the first IRAP: A Raytheon Technologies undertaking for which the National Institute of Metalworking Skills will serve as the SRE.
JOURNEY OF A CERTIFIED TECHNICIAN
“The Journey of a Certified AED Foundation Technician” YouTube video follows two children with interest in equipment through their respective journeys in high school, college and post-graduation. In each stage, the AED Foundation is available to help develop skills that will serve them in their equipment industry careers. The video demonstrates that support as the students complete the Construction Career Aptitude Test; stackable credentials; recognized high school programs; certified technician programs at an accredited college during their post-secondary education; and, through AEDF certified manager programs to help the technicians advance their careers.