The Equipment Dealers Foundation (EDF) works on issues of critical importance to our industry and our communities including workforce development. On October 16, 2019, EDF welcomed industry leaders from the across the country to join its second EDF Workforce Development Summit. “Today marks our second Workforce Development Summit – a chance to gather Industry Champions to exchange best practices and share information. We are very proud to be able to host it at the always impressive GIE+Expo. It is a show full of progress and innovation – just as this Summit will be,“ said EDF Chairman, Tom Nobbe.
An immense amount of information was shared and exchanged and there was a dedicated group present to take new information back to dealerships and OEMs across the country. The accomplishments of this group over the past two years are impressive. In 2017, when this group assembled for the first time, it attempted to do what our industry had never done before – to work together for a cause bigger than any single stakeholder. Each participant of the 2017 Summit shared information about their business and candidly exchanged information about the challenges and opportunities their businesses were facing. Out of that Summit, we’ve made tremendous progress in furtherance of our Workforce Development goals as an industry. Some of these industry accomplishments include the release of an equipment industry workforce development toolkit which can be customized for any industry participant. A comprehensive student resource database was also developed which allows students to find educational and funding opportunities in their own communities. In addition to these efforts, we have seen our industry partners launch apprenticeship programs and dispense tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to both students and teachers to help attract talent to our industry. “With this legacy of hard work and dedication, I think it’s safe to say that the Board of Directors for the Equipment Dealers Foundation has high hopes for today,” added Nobbe.
The message from the 2019 Summit was loud and clear: the equipment industry is not alone in its struggle to develop the next generation of workers and we must embrace a collaborative approach to addressing these issues. EDA and EDF look forward to working across industries to increase educational opportunities for students, strengthen the pipeline of talent and closing the skills gap.
This event is an important part of what we do at EDF. “To conclude, let me just say that we all seek to innovate workforce development within the equipment sector. We all seek to listen to what the customer needs, to better serve our market, and to better serve our communities. And we all seek to adapt and overcome these challenges. We can and we are – together,” added Rominger.
EDF would like to thank each of our sponsors, GIE+EXPO, OPEI, John Deere, Exmark, Stihl, and Far West Equipment Dealers Association..