Category Archives: Industry Partners

Most of Dunwoody’s Class of 2016 already employed

With Commencement right around the corner, the question of “what now?” might be in full effect for some students—but it isn’t for many upcoming Dunwoody grads.

According to the latest from the College’s Ferrara Career Services Center, 85% of Dunwoody students are leaving campus already employed.

Micah Thorson presenting his capstone project for his bachelor of science in Industrial Engineering.

Micah Thorson presenting his capstone project for his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering.

Associate Director of Career Services Rob Borchardt says this trend is consistent with last year’s Employment Report, which shows that 98.5 percent of the 2014-15 graduating class found jobs in their field within six months of leaving campus.

Employers turn to Dunwoody for new hires

“The state of the economy right now really favors job seekers,” Borchardt said. “Industries we support are in high need for talented graduates and those companies regularly turn to Dunwoody to fill that need.”

And many companies are finding value in engaging with Dunwoody students and faculty before their final semester.

From L to R: College President Rich Wagner, Lakeram Seriram, and YCAP Manager Peggy Quam shortly after Seriram was named the Youth Career Awareness Program Leon Rankin Award recipient.

From L to R: College President Rich Wagner, Lakeram Seriram, and YCAP Manager Peggy Quam shortly after Seriram was named the Youth Career Awareness Program Leon Rankin Award recipient.

This proved to be true for soon-to-be-grads Micah Thorson (Industrial Engineering Technology), Stevie Nguyen, (Engineering Drafting & Design) and Lakeram Seriram (Toyota Technician Training & Education Network):

Thorson found out about his recently accepted position at Andersen Windows and Doors through his Dunwoody instructor; Nguyen developed rapport with her employer, Permasteelia, after they presented to one of her classes back in 2015; and Seriram, who will be joining the automotive team at Lexus of Wayzata full-time, toured his future place of employment nearly two years ago during his summer with the YCAP program.

All three students will walk across the stage tomorrow already employed.

Degree, future brings excitement to students

Stevie Nguyen with the bicycle she helped design and build with her group The Hacks as a capstone project for their degree.

Stevie Nguyen with the bicycle she helped design and build with her group The Hacks as a capstone project for their degree.

“I am excited about everything,” Nguyen said. “I finally completed my first degree and am now off to start my life. I know that this degree will open so many doors for me.”

Thorson, who previously completed an associate’s degree in Engineering Drafting & Design at Dunwoody, agreed: “The part that excites me the most is the opportunities to continue to learn and develop. I hit the ceiling with my associate’s degree and with my bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering I will have the chance to keep growing in my career and continue on with my education if desired.”

Seriram said he too is excited for the opportunity to continue his education.

“It’s only the beginning for me,” he said. “Now that I have my two-year degree, maybe down the road I can get my four-year degree—and even open up my own [automotive] shop.” 

2015-2016 Commencement

Dunwoody College’s Commencement ceremony will be held Saturday, May 21, at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The Ceremony begins at 11 a.m.

Learn more about Commencement.

Field trip to Greenheck Fan gives HVAC students a taste of life in industry

Photo of Dunwoody HVAC students visiting Greenheck Fan.Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology and HVAC Installation & Residential Service students recently ventured out to Schofield, WI, for a day-long visit to Greenheck Fan, the leading supplier of air movement and control equipment, including fans, dampers, louvers, and kitchen ventilation.

During the visit, students were able to tour the new Innovation Center, where fans are tested for noise and durability. Students were also able to see how a fan is assembled as well as learn the role engineering plays in fan selection and performance.

Photo of Dunwoody HVAC students looking at machinery at Greenheck Fan. “The students were impressed with the quality control measures Greenheck uses when manufacturing their equipment—and the large volume of fans and equipment being produced,” HVAC Program Manager Chuck Taft said. “This demonstrated how busy the HVAC industry is right now.”

Taft said students also met with Greenheck employees, who seemed “very proud to work at Greenheck.”

“You could tell the employees liked their jobs,” he said.

Photo of Dunwoody HVAC students listening to Greenheck Fan employee.Dunwoody’s HVAC programs have been invited to the Greenheck headquarters every two years since the 1990’s. The tour plays an important role in helping students see the types of jobs and working environments they could be in upon graduation.

Learn more about Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology and HVAC Installation & Residential Service.

Stratasys Co-Founder S. Scott Crump to Keynote Dunwoody College 2016 Commencement

Photo of Scott CrumpDunwoody College of Technology is pleased to announce that S. Scott Crump, Co-Founder of Stratasys, Ltd, the leading organization for 3D printing innovation, will be the keynote speaker at the College’s Commencement on Saturday, May 21, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

About S. Scott Crump

Scott Crump is the Chief Innovation Officer of Stratasys, focused on leading and managing innovation by originating and encouraging new ideas, which will result in new solutions and products to market.

Mr. Crump is the inventor of Fused Deposition Technology (FDM) and a co-founder of Stratasys, which began in his home garage along with his wife Lisa Crump. They shipped one system in the first commercial year and now Stratasys has over 150,000 3D Printers with customers.

He served as the CEO, Chairman, and Treasurer of Stratasys from the 1988 start up through 2012.

In addition, he is on the Board of Directors and is currently serving as Chairman of the Executive Committee since February 2015. Prior to that, he served as the Chairman of the Board since inception in 1988.

From 1982 to 1988, Mr. Crump was co-founder and Vice President of Sales of IDEA, Inc. They were a premier brand manufacturer of load and pressure transducers. Mr. Crump continued as a director and shareholder until its sale to Vishay Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: VSH) in April 2005.

Mr. Crump holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Washington State University and attended UCLA’s Business Management Development for Entrepreneurs. Mr. Crump is a registered professional engineer.

Two Interior Design students design show sets for Northwest Community Television

Photo of Angelica Sedano and Alyx Paschke

L to R: Angelica Sedano and Alyx Paschke

Late last year, Northwest Community Television (NWCT)—a non-profit organization that offers free production classes, equipment use, and channel time to those in the northwestern suburbs of the Twin Cities—realized they needed a change.

“Our current TV sets were outdated, falling apart, and overdue for an overhaul,” Studio Manager Nikki Jackett said.

And as the 2015 fiscal year was coming to a close, Jackett realized they had some dollars left in their budget. So, she chose to put that money towards set renovation.

A perfect match

“We only had six weeks to get ideas together and the money spent,” Jackett said.

Photo of existing NWCT set

NWCT set prior to remodel.

“Knowing design is not in my wheelhouse and having a limited budget, I asked my boss if I could reach out to students to work with. I’ve had good experiences working with students in the past. I love their energy and eagerness.”

When searching for the students, Jackett said she “never looked beyond Dunwoody.”

“I’ve always heard good things about the school, so it was the first and only one I emailed,” she said.

And when senior Interior Design students Alyx Paschke and Angelica Sedano learned of the project, they knew they had to be involved.

“Set design is something that has always interested me,” Paschke said. “I’m going to grad school for themed entertainment design so this project was very closely aligned with what I am hoping to do.”

The design process

Due to the wide variety of shows offered by NWCT—which includes talk shows, sports shows, children shows, cooking lessons and craft demonstrations—Paschke said, “versatility was a major aspect in the design concept.”

Photo of existing NWCT sets and photo of what they would like after the remodel.

Paschke and Sedano used SketchUp—3D modeling software they use for class projects at Dunwoody— to generate ideas for the new sets.

“We decided it would give us the most for our budget to repurpose and reuse many of the existing sets and set elements,” she said.

And while the students did have complete design freedom, there were some limitations.

“The sets had to be mobile, lightweight, and easily assembled and deconstructed for transportation to and from the set storage warehouse,” Paschke said. “We also had an extremely small budget for all of the sets, construction supplies, finishes, furniture and décor, which allowed us to get creative.”

Paschke and Sedano used SketchUp—3D modeling software they use for class projects at Dunwoody—to design the sets. Here they finalized the set colors, furniture pieces and design budget. Then, they set out to purchase the supplies.

“It felt a little bit like an HGTV show,” Paschke laughed as she described their overflowing carts at Ikea.

In an effort to keep the costs down, the students also approached several industry partners for help—and were successful in doing so.

Example of what a set would look like after the remodelSherwin-Williams agreed to donate the paint for the sets, and representatives from Shakopee Lowes Home Improvement provided budget guidance. Prime General Contractors also helped with transportation.

Thanks to their generosity, the two students were able to stay under-budget and upgrade six existing sets and the station’s kitchen.

The final product

Photo of one of the final sets

One of the final sets designed by Paschke and Sedano.

For Paschke and Sedano, however, the best part of the process was actually seeing the project come to life.

Paschke explained: “As students, a lot of the time we design and we do the 3D renderings—but that’s as far as we get. So it was really fun to see our work actually constructed.”

“It was our first real project like this so it was a little intimidating,” Sedano said. “But we worked together with everyone really well. It was nice to have our first project be with great people.”

Photo of Paschke and Sedano

Paschke and Sedano at the NWCT Open House.

Jackett agreed: “Throughout the entire process, Alyx and Angelica demonstrated an unbelievable passion for design and a keen understanding of what it means to meet the expectations laid forth while also looking outside of the box in exuding their own creativity. I can’t wait for the next opportunity to work with them and recommend them to others.”

According to NWCT’s latest newsletter, this is the Station’s first remodel since the media center opened in 1998. NWCT displayed the newly renovated sets at an Open House event late last month.

Paschke and Sedano will graduate this May with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design.

Learn more about Dunwoody’s Interior Design program.

Auto industry has the need, Dunwoody has the grads

Industry speaks at March open house

Photo of Auto Open House eventDunwoody Automotive invited representatives from Luther Automotive Group, Walser Automotive Group, and Alliance of Automotive Service Providers-Minnesota (AASP) to speak at the College’s open house event this month, which was held Tuesday, March 15.

Steve Reinarts, Automotive Dean, said the goal of the event was to help organizations find potential hires as well as provide students and their guests with a better understanding of what the automotive job market looks like right now.

And what does it look like?

According to Judell Anderson, Executive Director of AASP: “Desperate.”

All three organizations confirmed that automotive job opportunities are skyrocketing—and shops and dealerships across the nation are in need of technicians.

“When I left my office, we had 43 openings,” said Meg Miller, HR Recruiter for Luther Automotive Group. “The opportunities are endless.”

In fact, auto mechanics are in such demand, many automotive organizations are hiring recent graduates—and even current students—to work. And for organizations like Walser Automotive, Dunwoody College is one of the first places they look.

Why a Dunwoody student?

“For years, we have all gone out and simply tried to steal one another’s technicians,” said Walser Automotive Corporate Service Director Jeff Lamott. “But as a business model, it doesn’t make sense to put an ad in the paper and hope you can get someone from another store.

Photo of students talking at Auto Open House event“Maybe that’s a short term solution for now, but probably a better solution would be to hire people at an entry level—student graduates for an example—bring them in, provide them with mentorship, and then grow them into a technician from the ground up,” he said.

“And to do that, we immediately look for organizations that provide students like that, or we look around and ask where we have gotten people from before…and Dunwoody would be the answer to both of those.”

Luther Automotive also has a long history of hiring Dunwoody graduates.

“Several of our managers and technicians have come from Dunwoody,” Miller said. “We always look for a well-rounded individual–someone who has the skill but also has the drive to learn more.

“We definitely find that in a Dunwoody student.”

Industry reps to return May 24

A first-time event for the department, Reinarts couldn’t be more pleased with the end result.

“I think the most beneficial part of the event—for both prospective students and their parents/guardians and guests—was being able to talk directly with industry,” he said.

“When parents come to an open house, they’ll often ask ‘will my son or daughter be able to get a job, and if so how much will they be able to make?’ Those answers, coming from me or one of our other instructors, could be perceived as self-serving.

“But by having industry there, we direct those questions to them and they’ll tell the parents and the students exactly how much they will be able to make and what the job market and career outlook looks like right now.

“That is why we wanted them there. So prospective students can get the story first-hand and hopefully consider choosing automotive as a future career,” he said.

Photo of guests talking at Auto Open House eventDue to the success of this month’s event, Dunwoody Automotive plans to host industry partners again at the College’s May open house, which takes place on Tuesday, May 24, from 3 to 7 p.m.

Prospective students can RSVP here.

If you are interested in speaking about your organization at the upcoming event, or becoming more involved with Dunwoody Automotive, please contact Reinarts at sreinarts@dunwoody.edu.

Buhler Apprentices/Dunwoody students showcase robotic machines

Buhler apprentices/Dunwoody students Matt Stumm, Austin Carline, Andrew Hohn, Mike Schweizer and Virgina Pearson

From L to R: Matt Stumm, Austin Carline, Andrew Hohn, Mike Schweizer and Virgina Pearson

Buhler apprentices/Dunwoody students Matt Stumm, Austin Carline, Andrew Hohn, Mike Schweizer and Virgina Pearson celebrated the end of their final class module during a student showcase event on campus Feb. 23.

Students were able to demonstrate the robotic machines they have spent the last few classes designing, assembling, and programming. The group also displayed several robotic parts that were designed and printed on the College’s Stratasys 3D printer.

Photo of Buhler Apprentices/Dunwoody students demonstrating their robotic machines

The group will finish their final segment of the apprenticeship program by continuing to work towards full-time positions at Buhler.

Industry partner Graco donates InvisiPac system to Dunwoody’s Robotics & Manufacturing department

Students work with the new Graco InvisiPac system in Dunwoody's packaging lab. Graco recently donated an InvisiPac hot melt glue machine — one of its’ latest technologies — to Dunwoody’s Robotics & Manufacturing department. The InvisiPac donation came about as the result of a visit late last year by Graco Engineering Manager Mark Weinberger.

During the visit “one of the students told me about the working assembly lines at Dunwoody that included glue machines,” Weinberger explained. After looking over the assembly line, he approached Senior Instructor Jeff Bixby about replacing the old glue machine with the InvisiPac.

Graco InvisiPac gives students hands-on, industry-standard experience

Automated Systems & Robotics students use the Graco InvisiPac hot melt glue machine for sealing cartons after an MGS Cartoner fills them in Dunwoody’s packaging lab. The automated packaging line then uses these cartons to demonstrate a “product to pallet” approach to machine troubleshooting.

By replacing the older glue machine with Graco’s InvisiPac, students will have hands-on experience with the latest tools currently being used in their field. The InvisiPac is one of the newest technologies to come from Graco and sets a standard for state-of-the-art packaging plants. Here are just a few of the upgrades that students will benefit from:

  • The Graco InvisiPack system works with the MGS Cartoner to fill cartons in Dunwoody's packaging lab. Graco’s InvisiPac is ready to use in 10 minutes versus 35-60 minutes for the older system.
  • It has a superior hose design that minimizes glue charring.
  • Its’ applicators have plug-free modules, eliminating unplanned assembly line downtime.
  • The InvisiPac has an easy-to-use high-tech display, along with glue use tracking and reporting with wireless connectivity.

Graco serves as a great industry partner

In addition to their recent donation, Graco has also supported Dunwoody students by providing internship opportunities and job placement after graduation.

“Two recent hires, Jake Whiteoak and Justin Weldon work in my division.  They both worked as interns for Graco before graduating last year.  Jake and Justin are doing excellent work.  We appreciate Dunwoody’s willingness to allow their students to work as interns,” Weinberger said.  “This is valuable experience for both Graco and the students.”

Associate Director of Career Services Rob Borchardt noted that Graco hired five Dunwoody graduates just last year in addition to hosting several interns.

Click here for more information on the Robotics & Manufacturing department.

Students travel to Orlando, FL for 2016 ASHRAE Winter Conference, AHR Expo

Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology students Jack Vaccaro and Kristofer Petrie—along with Program Manager Chuck Taft—attended the 2016 American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Winter Conference & Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration (AHR) Institute Expo in Orlando, FL Jan. 23-27.

Photo of Kristofer Petriea and Jack Vaccaro at 2016 ASHRAE Winter Conference

Kristofer Petrie and Jack Vaccaro (L to R)

More than 2,000 manufacturers and 60,000 Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) professionals attend the AHR event each year.

ASHRAE Conference, AHR Expo shapes students into valuable employees

Taft said the annual conference and expo are especially beneficial to students pursuing a career in HVACR.

At the events, Kristofer and Jack were able to:

  • Participate in educational presentations, seminars, panels and workshops
  • Learn how to navigate through everyday HVAC engineering and design issues
  • Network with industry professionals and ASHRAE YEA (Young Engineers in ASHRAE) members
  • Hear about the industry’s latest awards, grants and competitions
  • Examine new HVAC equipment, products and technologies from internationally recognized manufacturers
While in Orlando, students also toured the Orange County Convention Center

While in Orlando, students also toured the Orange County Convention Center

“When students have the opportunity to attend these events, they see the reality of where the HVAC industry is, where it’s going, and what they need to do to become sought-out professionals following graduation,” Taft said.

“The knowledge they gain from experiencing nationally-recognized industry events will make them more valuable employees.”

Dunwoody students appreciate learning outside the classroom

Photo of Dunwoody students discussing with other engineering studentsTaft said one of the student’s favorite parts of the trip was participating in the various events offered during the ASHRAE Student Program on Jan 24.

Through the program, Kristofer and Jack—who are both members of Dunwoody’s ASHRAE Student Chapter—were introduced to students from other HVAC programs across the country. Taft said his students appreciated learning how other students were also studying HVAC engineering concepts.

Learn more

This is the fifth year Dunwoody students have attended the event, thanks to financial assistance from the Minnesota ASHRAE Chapter. In 2015, students traveled to Chicago, IL for the conference. The 2017 event will be held in Las Vegas, NV.

Learn more about Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology.