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Brian P. McGuire, Oak Brook, Ill., Published January 31 2014

Letter: Partnerships great for grads

On behalf of the nearly 800 national and international equipment dealers and manufacturers who comprise the membership of Associated Equipment Distributors, I would like to thank Cali Owings for the story “Tech school partnerships with industry a win-win for students, employers,” which was published Jan. 24 by The Forum. The story did a great job of calling attention to several important topics.

Thanks for recognizing that the close relationship between industry and technical colleges is very important. By engaging with colleges, industry can influence curriculum and be assured that graduates will have the skills and knowledge they need in the real world. In fact, as you noted, many students are “spoken for” by their future employers when they enter their college programs.

As federal and state funding continues to shrink, these industry-school partnerships also provide resources that strengthen the programs. The benefits touch students directly, many receiving mentoring, paid internships and financial assistance. Students who attend the technician programs, especially from schools accredited by The AED Foundation, can look forward to exciting and financially rewarding careers servicing high-tech heavy equipment – equipment that is essential to building and maintaining infrastructure, mining operations, energy development, and much more. Whether they make a career as a service technician at one of AED members’ 2,351 dealer locations or go on to own their own dealership, their education will give them a firm foundation for success.

The dealerships mentioned in the article – and the many others who participate in these programs – should be commended for investing in the future of students and the community as whole.

Thank you for sharing and helping inform your readership about some of the career opportunities that are available in the world of equipment distribution.

McGuire is president and CEO, Associated Equipment Distributors.