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Komatsu donates $250,000 to AED Foundation’s Vision 2025 initiative

3 min read / July 25, 2023

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Project aims to address technician shortages in the equipment distribution industry

July 25, 2023 — The current skills gap and workforce shortage issues facing OEMs and equipment distributors are daunting. To address these problems, the AED Foundation created Vision 2025, a project aimed at helping to increase the number of qualified technicians entering the equipment distribution industry. Komatsu is excited to announce that it has contributed $250,000 toward this important initiative.

“We recognize the imperative to build a talent pipeline for our distributors and the heavy equipment industry at large,” said Komatsu’s Rod Bull, Executive Vice President, North America Region. “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. 

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 recognized 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 prioritize 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

“The AED Foundation is grateful for Komatsu’s leadership and investment in our Vision 2025 campaign,” said AED Foundation President Brian McGuire. “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:

  • 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
  • Waukesha-Pearce Industries, LLC

About AED Foundation

The AED Foundation (AEDF) is the non-profit foundation for the Heavy Equipment industry and is the sister organization to Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), the international trade association for equipment distributors, manufacturers, and service providers. The AED Foundation actively addresses the serious shortage of skilled professionals in the equipment distribution industry through the expansion of its “community-based, school-to-work” school partnership strategy. By putting dealers, manufacturers, and educators together, the foundation is working toward the common goal of growing a new generation of in-demand, highly skilled, and high rewarding technical positions in the heavy equipment industry.

About Komatsu

Komatsu develops and supplies technologies, equipment and services for the construction, mining, forklift, industrial and forestry markets. For more than a century, the company has been creating value for its customers through manufacturing and technology innovation, partnering with others to empower a sustainable future where people, business and the planet thrive together. Front-line industries worldwide use Komatsu solutions to develop modern infrastructure, extract fundamental minerals, maintain forests and create consumer products. The company's global service and distributor networks support customer operations to enhance safety and productivity while optimizing performance.

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Jill Rick, Manager, PR and CSR

Jill Rick

Manager, PR and CSR

(262) 337-0854