Calgary, AB. — The Canada Equipment Dealers Foundation (CEDF) has reached a significant milestone, funding over 1,000 scholarships for dealership employees. The CEDF has also funded major initiatives with Olds College, Assiniboine Community College, Parkland College, Lethbridge College and Saskatchewan Polytechnic in addition to 31 post-secondary scholarship endowments. To date the CEDF has surpassed $2 million in total funds in support of career and technical education programs for ag equipment dealers.

Recognizing critical labor shortages of properly trained dealership employees, the CEDF was established as the arms-length charitable organization of the Western Equipment Dealers Assn. (WEDA). Focusing on professional education and workforce development issues specific to the industry, the CEDF helps to fund educational programs and services for agricultural, industrial and outdoor power equipment dealers across Canada.

“Equipment dealers have a high difficulty in finding qualified candidates to fill open technician positions. The inability to hire skilled technicians has had significant adverse effects on a dealerships business,” said Gail Halderman, president of the CEDF. “This has resulted in some difficulty in timely repair of our customer's equipment and limited dealer's expansion plans. The CEDF has a critical mission to ensure the future success of the industry.”

With a focus on four primary areas, the Foundation purpose is to:

• Create education and workforce development programs

• Establish scholarship programs

• Promote awareness of the career opportunities in the industry

• Fund research on related topics within the industry

Directed by past presidents and volunteer WEDA members, the CEDF is a registered charitable foundation. All funds raised go directly to Foundation initiatives. Unlike other foundations, CEDF’s administration costs are less than 1% of contributions. Fundraising efforts include annual golf tournaments, online auctions, partner donations and the WEDA International Conference.

For more information about the Canada Equipment Dealers Foundation please contact: John Schmeiser, CEO Western Equipment Dealers Assn., (403) 250-7581.