While the COVID-19 pandemic has put many of the nation's activities and events on hold, The AED Foundation (AEDF) perseveres as it continues to meet its Vision 2024 goals. Through the pandemic, AEDF has adapted to continue to fit the needs of students and schools across the country to help students graduate from AEDF's recognized high school programs. The Foundation has implemented an online proctoring system to maintain the technician test's integrity while offering worry-free convenience to students and schools to make test-taking available 24/7.
Part of Vision 2024 focuses on recognizing 50 high school programs within the next four years. With Vision 2024 in mind, the Foundation anticipates more students graduating from these programs in the coming years. This aspect of the goal is essential, as the Foundation strives to make education at the high school level the starting point for the industry's prospective technicians.
Jason Blake, COO of The AED Foundation, stated, "The Foundation's high school recognition programs serve to prepare students for their careers as industry technicians. These programs work with AEDF's accredited college programs to provide top tier, industry-recognized education to students."
This process allows young people to become familiar with the equipment before they ever set foot in an equipment dealership, allowing them to be more confident in their abilities upon entering the workforce. Through recognizing additional high school programs across the country, the Foundation plans to engage high school students in a highly rewarding career path.
With The Caterpillar Foundation's generous grant to help the Foundation combat the industry workforce shortage, scholarships will be awarded to students who transition from an AEDF recognized high school program into an AEDF accredited college program. This scholarship program in itself is an incentive that serves to draw interest from both students and high schools.
The Foundation is currently working with several high schools in the recognition process to ensure their programs meet AEDF's industry-recognized standards.