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Wells Fargo Equipment Finance Inc. Invested In Industry’s Future

One of the largest finance companies around sees the value of investing in the future of the construction industry. Wells Fargo Equipment Finance Inc., with nearly $50 billion in assets under management, is one of the top-affiliated equipment leasing and finance businesses based in the U.S. and Canada.

It provides loans, leases and financing options for just about any construction industry need for its 325,000-plus customer base, which includes dealers, manufacturers, municipalities, end-user borrowers and commercial bank customers.

“We provide vendor financial services, and we go to market in many ways,” says John Crum, senior vice president of the Pittsburgh-based firm. “We market to users of construction equipment, and we market to dealers to help finance. We help equipment manufacturers and provide financing as well.”

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Wells Fargo Equipment Finance (WFEF) has also been involved with The AED Foundation for many years. Crum has been on the Foundation’s board of directors since 2010.

A healthy construction industry benefits builders, clients and financiers alike, he says.

As a result, Crum says WFEF is on board with advancing the industry, in particular from the angle of training new skilled talent, because of the consistent need for more workers.

“One of the real shortfalls we have (in construction) is the recruitment and training of qualified employees,” Crum says. Professional education, technicians and dealer staff all suffer from a need for more expertise in terms of shaping and advancing the future of the industry.

That need is there at virtually all the dealerships WFEF associates with, Crum adds. “They have a hard time finding technicians and mechanics to fund dealerships. There’s a real shortfall.” Hundreds, if not thousands, of unfilled positions are waiting for the right candidate to assume responsibility.

“These are good-paying jobs, too.”

Building up the trained worker base today ensures a solid present and a brighter future for the industry.

It’s been well documented how the skills gap slows industry growth. A study prepared by The AED Foundation, with the help of the College of William & Mary, cited finding qualified labor as the single biggest challenge the industry faces and estimated that the inability to fill these positions could cost the industry over $2.4 billion in lost earnings each year. That shortfall means potentially lost customers, inhibited growth, and inability to satisfy client demands.

As a result, supporting The AED Foundation is a solid move for WFEF.

“We think the Foundation is the best place to service and sell those needs. We’re pleased with the research the Foundation has done in the last couple years,” Crum says. “They’re putting a real dollar value behind it.”

WFEF attends the annual Summit. “We also attend executive forums and local groups, whether informal or otherwise. We host local dealers and talk about issues.”, Crum says.

“We partake in AED training directly, sending our teams to war games. We put a lot of people in our organization through that. We want our dealers to experience and network and get a feel for challenges in real time.

“We participate in educational aspects and donate and take part as members,” Crum continues. “In terms of value it’s the one source that advocates for legislation (both tax and regulatory reform). The AED Foundation is an effective advocate.”

A study prepared by The AED Foundation, with the help of the College of William & Mary, cited finding qualified labor as the single biggest challenge the industry faces and estimated that the inability to fill these positions could cost the industry over $2.4 billion in lost earnings each year.

Your donation fuels the work that allows The AED Foundation to develop a dealer model for success. The future of dealerships depend on how we come together to build our industry's workforce.

Thank you, Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, for investing in the future of our industry!

To contribute to The AED Foundation annual campaign, visit bit.ly/2018aedfcampaign.

 

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