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AED Foundation Certified Technician of the Month: Tony Tice


Tony Tice is extremely knowledgeable about the heavy equipment industry, having worked as a technical programs educator for more than three decades. Like many who go on to become technicians, Tice was initially drawn to the career because of an interest working with his hands.

“I’m one of those guys who always liked to work on things and fix things,” he said.

“I got my initial diesel training at Northeast Mississippi Community College in Booneville and from there I went on to work in a diesel fuel injection shop in Tupelo. A NEMCC instructor encouraged me to come into the heavy equipment field. I came on a college visit and was recruited into this industry because of my technical skills.”

Recruited into the industry himself, Tice now works to recruit others into technician careers, currently serving as the training manager for LaVergne, Tenn.-based CAT distributor Thompson Machinery.
 
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“As a corporate training manager, I oversee the company’s trainers and make sure we’re staying on the right path,” Tice said. “In my job, I get to interact with Thompson Machinery’s nearly 600 employees, which is something I really enjoy.”

Tice also volunteers for The AED Foundation, visiting technical colleges going through the accreditation process to ensure that their curriculum matches The AED Foundation's exacting – and recently revised – standards.

“Right now we’re going through the accreditation process for Hinds Community College in Jackson, Mississippi, which will be the first AED Foundation-accredited program in the state,” he said. “We go in and make sure that what they teach matches The AED Foundation standards that were revised in 2017. It’s exciting and I’m glad to be a part of it. The volunteer work I do through The AED Foundation is my way to pay the industry back for all the years that it’s been good to me.”

While some with such extensive experience might not feel the need to distinguish themselves with an industry certification, Tice jumped at the chance to be one of the first technicians to complete The AED Foundation’s recently launched Certified Technician Program. However, rather than gaining the certification for his own benefit, Tice did it so that he could help prospective technicians know what to expect.

“As a recruiter for Thompson Machinery and someone who’s been in this industry for a number of years, I wanted to be able to talk intelligently to prospective technicians about getting AED Foundation-certified,” he said. “So I sat down one morning and took the test. It’s 160 questions and you know the results as soon as you’re done.”

Tice agreed with what many others have said about the 160-question assessment, characterizing it as challenging but fair, and a great way for technicians to pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses.

“I was able to see pretty quickly that I’m strong in some areas and I need a little assistance – a little update – in other areas.”

For those considering a career as a technician in the construction and heavy equipment industry, Tice has this recommendation: “There are two major areas of focus in the work we do now: electrical and hydraulics. If you have opportunities to do training in either of those two areas, I would strongly advise it, because we’re always looking for technicians who have those skill sets.”

When he’s not busy working as a corporate training manager or volunteering with The AED Foundation, Tice is an avid golfer who never misses a chance to hit the links. He also enjoys spending time with his family, which includes four grandchildren ranging in age from just a few months to 12 years old, and loves to travel with his wife, Paula.

For more information on The AED Foundation’s Certified Technician Program, call 630-574-0650, email info@aednet.org or visit aedfoundation.org/certified-technician-program. The AED Foundation is also on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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