The Equipment Dealers Foundation has announced the program detains for its 2019 Workforce Development Summit. The summit will be held Oct. 16 at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville ahead of the GIE+Expo. The program includes general sessions and panels.

State of Workforce: What’s going on?

Debbie Hughes of Entangled Solutions will provide attendees with an overview of trends and strategies in workforce development across industries. Hughes’ presentation will highlight valuable information related to best practices and innovation around talent, workforce development, and the future of work for the digital economy.

Teaching the Teachers: CASE Scholarship Program

Carl Aakre, CASE (Curriculum for Agriculture Science Education) Curriculum Coordinator and John Bergin, CASE Lead Teacher, will give attendees a front-row tour of the CASE curriculum and professional development offered in the Agricultural Engineering Pathway. See how the scholarship program is influencing the future of agriculture and equipment industries by experiencing hands-on CASE activities teachers use in their classroom. You will also see example projects developed by students engaged in CASE curriculum and hear directly from a teacher impacted by the program.

Recruitment & Retention Strategies that Work for Equipment Technicians

This panel of three equipment technicians, in varying stages of their careers, will discuss what drew them to the industry and what keeps them working for their current company. We know that competition for good employees is fierce. In this session, learn what recruitment strategies work for equipment technicians and how to develop hires into long term employees. This panel will be moderated by Joani Woelfel, President & CEO of the Far West Equipment Dealers Association.

Other Industries Best Practices

Will Rogers, Director of Government Affairs for the Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association will moderate this panel of workforce experts from industries outside of equipment. Conversation will focus on workforce development initiatives that have worked and those that haven’t. Attendees will walk away with best practices and new strategies to implement in their businesses.

Breakout Session 1: Legislative Initiatives in Education

Join Kate Fox Wood, Director of Government Relations for AEM, in this interactive session that covers Industry Recognized Apprenticeships (IRAPS) and Federal Legislative Updates. The session will provide a brief overview of what’s going on with IRAPS and a legislative update followed by an opportunity for attendees to share ideas on what role the equipment industry and our partners play in the future of workforce development as a public policy priority.

Breakout Session 2: Digital Talent Needed: Developing a Workforce Prepared for the Future of Work

As technology and innovation accelerate around the digital economy, the workforce is fundamentally changing. Some jobs will disappear with automation, but the vast majority will change and require wholesale retraining across all sectors globally. Employers have been clear in their needs, but less so in the execution and path to get there. Workers in the age of digital will need to have a mix of skills reflecting digital, 21st century, and workplace, as well as be able to adapt and continuously learn and gain new skills. To address the digital skills divide and ensure we have the talent needed now and in the future, the education system, for which the United States is undergoing a crisis of trust around its 4-year academic institutions on their value and role, must shift to focus on lifelong learning and driving a skills-based approach to talent development, as well as reimagine the roles and relationships between employers and education providers. This breakout is moderated by Debbie Hughes of Entangled Solutions.

Developing & Implementing a Registered Apprenticeship Program

Tim Wentz of the Northeast Equipment Dealers Association joined forces with Scott Sheely (Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture), Anne Gielczyk (NOCTI) and Jon Seaman (Pennsylvania State University) to create an apprenticeship program for students and potential employees of equipment dealerships. The program they created has been very effective in Pennsylvania and was built for replication to other states. This session will provide actionable steps you can take to get an apprenticeship program set up in your dealership or state.

The summit is free and dealers and manufacturers who are interested in attending can register at

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