AED Praises Lawmakers for Addressing Nation’s Skills Gap

Brian P. McGuire, president and CEO of Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives’ approval of the Strengthening Career & Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353), bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career & Technical Education Act.

The AED Foundation recently commissioned two studies by the College of William & Mary quantifying the skilled worker shortage’s impact on the construction equipment industry and analyzing career and technical education (CTE) programs on a state-by-state basis. Visit aedfoundation.org/research/ to learn more about The AED Foundation’s research.

“Today, the House of Representatives took a positive step toward addressing the nation’s skills gap with approval of the Strengthening Career & Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353). By reflecting current workforce needs, empowering state and local entities, and emphasizing work-based learning opportunities, the bipartisan legislation provides tools to better prepare workers for well-paying careers and ensure that U.S. companies can seize new business opportunities.

“The greatest strategic challenge facing the construction equipment industry is the scarcity of skilled technical workers that is costing AED members more than $2.4 billion per year in lost revenue and economic activity. H.R. 2353 is an important part of the solution, along with a commitment by businesses, schools and government officials to collectively tackle the technical education crisis at all levels. Together, this will help our nation’s students acquire the skills needed to meet employer demands. Thank you to the bill’s sponsors for their leadership on this issue. The construction equipment industry looks forward to working with the Senate to get this important legislation to the president’s desk as soon as possible.”