Associated Equipment Distributors calls on Congress to pass two construction equipment industry priorities

The Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) is calling on Congress to act upon the Carl D. Perkins Act reauthorization legislation and the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).

“Congress’s work for the year isn’t over,” wrote Brian McGuire, president of the Schaumburg, IL-based AED, in a letter to U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. “To place the economy and the construction sector on solid footing for many years, we strongly urge you to make the most of the waning legislative days left in this session and enact Perkins Act reauthorization legislation and a WRDA bill in 2016.”

AED is an international trade association representing companies involved in the distribution, rental and support of equipment used in construction, mining, forestry, power generation, agriculture and industrial applications.

In a press release, the association said that McGuire's letter "encouraged lawmakers to address the nation’s skilled worker shortage and invest in Army Corps of Engineers projects, such as building, maintaining and improving harbors, dams, locks and navigation channels."

McGuire also highlighted the results of a recent study commissioned by the AED Foundation, in which College of William & Mary researchers found a technician shortage in the country is costing equipment dealers approximately $2.4 billion each year in lost revenue and economic opportunity.

That study also found that every one dollar invested in “conservation and development structures” (such as those supported by WRDA) leads to $10.59 in economic output (GDP) and generates $3.18 in tax revenues, including $2.12 for the federal government and $1.06 for state and local entities over a twenty-year period.

"AED has endorsed the bipartisan House Education & the Workforce Committee-approved Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 5587) as a great step toward tackling the country’s technical education crisis," wrote McGuire.

McGuire and AED’s Senior Vice President Diane Benck of West Side Tractor Sales Co. hand-delivered the letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan during a meeting in Milwaukee on Sept. 1.