Category Archives: Industry Partners

Women in Technical Careers Scholarship Provides More Than Financial Support

Women in Technical Careers (WITC) is Dunwoody’s new scholarship program designed to help women students succeed in technical degree programs at Dunwoody. Recipients of the scholarship receive $20,000 in scholarship funding and childcare assistance if needed.

IMG_0581

However, WITC is much more than just financial assistance. It also serves as a series of support services and networks–all designed to remove barriers that often prevent women from seeking non-traditional professions.

“Throughout their time at Dunwoody, WITC students participate in a cohort program, a mentorship program and monthly professional development workshops. They also have direct, one-on-one support from an advisor,” said Women’s Enrollment Coordinator Maggie Whitman. “While the scholarship funding helps, it’s these support services that really make a difference.”

IMG_1692Perhaps one of the most successful support services offered is the mentorship program. Modeled after research findings on the best way to support women students in a technical career, the program pairs each student with a local, successful woman in the same profession.

Mentors include women such as Claire Ferrara, Interim Executive Director of MEDICO; Cathy Heying, Founder of The Lift Garage; Karin McCabe, Workforce and Vendor Outreach Coordinator from McGough Construction; and many more.

“The mentorship program is important because it connects our students with women who are experienced at navigating workplacesIMG_1747 where few women work,” Whitman said. “Mentors can share job searching advice, industry information, and personal experiences that will prepare our students for their lives after graduation. It’s important for our students to hear this type of feedback and advice from women who have had similar life experiences. A simple, ‘I’ve been there, and I made it through…’ can go a long way.”

The mentorship program officially kicked off last month at a social event on campus. Students and their mentors were able to meet in person for the first time and get to know one another over appetizers and beverages.

“The students were very excited to meet so many professional women in their chosen careers,” Whitman said. “I also heard from the mentors that they appreciated the opportunity to network with other professional women. I think this program will be beneficial for everyone involved.”

IMG_1750Mentors and students will meet in person several more times throughout the next two years. They will also communicate regularly online.

The WITC scholarship was awarded to 22 women in 2015. The students are currently enrolled in programs like Automotive, Computer Technology, Robotics & Manufacturing and Construction Sciences & Building Technology.

The WITC students are expected to graduate in Spring of 2017.

Learn more about Women in Technical Careers.

Surly Brewing Company Provides Electrical Construction Design & Management Students with Electrical Tour

Second year Electrical Construction Design & Management students were provided with a behind-the-scenes tour of Surly Brewing Company earlier last month.

Electrical Construction Design & Management students smiling while on an electrical tour of Surly Brewing Company.

Students were able to see the many different electrical uses throughout Surly’s facility, from the industrial motors and sensors involved in the brewing lab to the various light fixtures inside the restaurant.

“Surly was a great building to tour simply because they do so much there,” Senior Instructor Nick Bohl said. “They of course have their brewery operations, but they also manage a restaurant with a kitchen; an event center; and space for kegging and canning. It was a great opportunity for students to see the many different aspects of construction, design and maintenance that go into a building like that–especially from an electrical standpoint.”

Tour guide referencing large machine to Electrical Construction Design & Management students while visiting Surly Brewing Company.This was just one of many site visits Bohl has planned for his students. Earlier this year, students also toured an electrical substation operated by Excel Energy. A trip to Monticello to visit a nuclear generating plant is also planned for later this semester. Towards the end of the program, students will even visit locations that directly pertain to their capstone projects.

“Each building we tour has a unique story and provides students with opportunities to ask questions and learn from an experienced professional in the industry,” said Bohl. “It’s an excellent way of showing students all that they’ll be capable of doing by the end of their program.”

Learn more about the Electrical Construction Design & Management program.

CEO Russ Becker Talks About the Impact of Leadership Development at APi Group

Leadership development is a journey that “takes time, energy, investment and commitment,” said Russell Becker, APi Group, Inc. CEO and President.

 Becker shared the importance of that journey and its overall impact at APi Group, during the Sept. 3 Leadership Lecture at Dunwoody College of Technology. Under Becker’s leadership, APi Group has grown to a $2.5 billion parent company. APi Group includes more than 40 complementary businesses, which provide fire protection and industrial and specialty construction.

 When Becker was promoted to CEO and President he began re-investing in leadership development. “Leadership, and leadership development, has been a huge part of our company, really since I joined the corporate company in 2002,” Becker said.

 As part of the company’s leadership development journey, Becker talked about the importance of first aligning their company values and corporate culture, as well as making sure they had the right leaders in top positions.

“We have 200 locations; each one of those locations needs to have great leadership,” Becker said.

 Becker said leaders at APi are problem solvers who have a sense of urgency. They are results driven and focus on building relationships. The company utilizes the Leadership Institute as well Leader Labs for ongoing training and development. APi also creates individual development plans for its leaders and utilizes a strategic leadership advisor and a Chief Learning Officer.

For APi Group, Becker said he can point to the company’s increased revenue and profitability over the past 13 years as proof that the investment is paying off.

The breakfast lecture series is held the first Thursday of every month and features key executives from the business community, who are invited to speak on a range of leadership topics. The next event will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3 and will feature Russell Becker, President and CEO of APi Group, Inc. For more information, or to view past events, visit www.dunwoody.edu/alumni/jackson.

Welding Students Showcase Skills at the Minnesota State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair is often thought of as a place to eat fried cheese curds, groove to a concert in the Grandstand and visit the livestock barns, but for the second year in a row attendees were also able to learn how to weld at the Careers in Welding trailer. The 53-foot trailer, which houses five virtual welding stations, was at the fair Aug. 27-30.

Virtual welding stations housed in the Careers in Welding trailer

The exhibit was sponsored by the American Welding Association (AWS) and Lincoln Electric and staffed, in part, by Dunwoody instructors and students. In fact, Dunwoody welding instructors Mike Reeser and Mark Schwendeman – along with 15 of their students – generously volunteered over 135 man-hours. Reeser, Schwedeman and their students also put on a “best of the best” contest to compete against one another and showcase the high-quality skills taught through Dunwoody’s Welding program, which offers both a certificate and a two-year degree.

Impressed by the number and caliber of the Dunwoody students, Lincoln Electric decided to donate a brand new 300 amp welder to the College.

Dunwoody Student with a virtual welder machine

“this 300 amp welder will allow us to continue offering students the newest technology in Gas Metal Arc Welding/Mig (GMAW),” Reeser said.

 Click here for more information about Dunwoody’s Welding degrees.

Top Tool CEO Shares Personal and Powerful Message on Leadership

On Thursday, August 6, Elizabeth Abraham shared her personal journey – from an early career as a psychologist to the current CEO and Owner of a precision micro-parts manufacturing company. Abraham was the featured speaker in August for the C. Charles Jackson Leadership Lecture Series at Dunwoody College of Technology.

Abraham speaking Abraham related her powerful personal story to a series of leadership lessons ranging from learning from your mistakes to surrounding yourself with a great team.

A licensed psychologist, Abraham grew up in New England and taught at the Chicago Medical School in the 1970s. She also did small business consulting and taught Marketing & Small Business Development at the University of St. Thomas and at the Carlson School of Management. All of those experiences helped shape her leadership values, which have become part of the Top Tool culture.

Founded in 1966, Top Tool Company was a tool and die shop that created precision progressive dies, which manufactures used to make metal parts for electronic devices and other products. After purchasing the company with her husband in 1987, Abraham diversified the company into metal stamping and manufacturing of precision micro-parts and has seen annual double-digit growth since 2010. Top Tool has also steadily gained new customers in the defense and medical device industries.

Abraham believes strongly in giving back and has served on numerous boards, including the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association and the Minnesota Manufacturer’s Coalition of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. She was also a founding member of the Women Leaders in Manufacturing Council.

For her leadership and advocacy of the manufacturing industry, Abraham received the “American Eagle Award” from the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association. She was also named an “Industry Leader of the Year” by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal.

Abraham & Ylinen smiling

The breakfast lecture series is held the first Thursday of every month and features key executives from the business community, who are invited to speak on a range of leadership topics. The next event will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3 and will feature Russell Becker, President and CEO of APi Group, Inc. For more information, or to view past events, visit: www.dunwoody.edu/alumni/jackson

ASHRAE Donates $2,000 Scholarship to Second Year Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology Student

Representatives from American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) stopped by Dunwoody College of Technology on July 7 to hand deliver a $2,000 scholarship check.

The check will be awarded to a student (or potentially more than one student) entering his/her second year of the Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology program.

ASHRAE & Dunwoody representatives holding check

Pictured from left to right: Rob Warnke, REHAU, ASHRAE Minnesota Chapter Treasurer; Vin Gupta, 3M, ASHRAE Minnesota Chapter Scholarship Chair; Chuck Taft, Dunwoody College of Technology, Dunwoody ASHRAE Student Branch Advisor; Tom Walters, MAG Mechanical, Dunwoody Alum and ASHRAE Minnesota Chapter Student Liaison; Cindy Olson, Dunwoody College of Technology.

The $2,000 scholarship will be put towards the awarded student’s tuition for the 2015-2016 academic year. Upon completion of the program, the winning student will also be able to meet with ASHRAE representatives to discuss his/her future career in HVAC&R.

The scholarship will be awarded for the Spring 2016 Semester.

Click to learn more about the Heating & Air Conditioning Engineering Technology program or Dunwoody’s ASHRAE Student Branch.

Viking Electric, IDEAL Industries donate tools for Electrical Construction & Maintenance

IDEAL Industries Key Account Area Manager Gary Shantz recently spoke to first- and second-semester Electrical Construction & Maintenance students about new electrical hand tools and technology used by industry professionals. Following his presentation Shantz donated more than $1,500 worth of tools to the College on behalf of IDEAL Industries—including screwdrivers, wire strippers, drill attachments, wire nutdrivers and meters for use in classroom labs.IDEAL donation

IDEAL Industries develops products and practical technology demanded by industries including electrical, wire processing and construction. Viking Electric Supply is an electrical industry wholesaler, distributing products from over 400 manufacturers.

The College’s partnership with Viking Electric goes back to 1988.

Senior Instructor Jeff Chase says he appreciates not only the donation, but also the presentation by Shantz because “it provides students with industry tool knowledge that they can use once they graduate and are working in the electrical industry.”

2015 CAD Table installed for Dunwoody Design students

Dunwoody students and faculty are celebrating the installation of the College’s newest piece of equipment- a Kongsberg V20 CAD (Computer-Aided Design) Table. Kongsberg, a division of Esko, Inc. (a valued partner to the Design & Graphics Technology department) manufactures its tables in the Czech Republic and sells them worldwide.

IMG_6605-small

The new table and software allows users to design and produce cartons, containers, retail displays, signage and die cut art made from a wide array of materials including paper, plastic and corrugated cardboard. The upgraded table cuts 1,150 inches per minute- nearly 10 times faster than the College’s previous CAD table.

While students of multiple Dunwoody design programs will use and benefit from this new piece of equipment, perhaps those most excited are students of the Design & Graphics Technology department, particularly first years enrolled in the “Intro to Packaging Design” course.

The Packaging Design course, a class required for both Pre-Media and Graphic Design programs, centers around a semester-long project requiring students to work one-on-one with real customers on the design and production of a custom package using the CAD table’s 2015 technology.

The project begins once the student identifies a real customer (e.g., a Dunwoody staff member, instructor or a local business owner) who is in need of a container or package for a certain product.

IMG_6582-smallerKeeping in mind the ultimate purpose or goal of the container, the student begins to design a template for the package using Esko’s ArtiosCAD design software. The resulting file is transferred without further conversion to the CAD table’s computer, which runs Esko’s iCut Production Suite software.

The package’s template will ultimately consist of a large collection of lines (pictured above) that tells the table where the material must be cut, perforated or creased for folding.

IMG_6181-smallerOnce the template has been finalized and the designer has chosen an appropriate type of material to cut, the computer will send a message to the table’s tool head (pictured right) to begin cutting.

IMG_6585-small

Before cutting

IMG_6593-smaller

After cutting

The designer then “pops out” the design (pictured below), assembles the container and issues it to the customer. Should the prototype be something the customer is genuinely interested in using or distributing, the student may share the design template with a larger production house for mass production. Any single design can be stepped and repeated or ganged with other design templates before cutting to maximize productivity and minimize waste. All scrap corrugated and paper is collected for recycling (pictured below), quite often returning in the form of new corrugated sheets.

IMG_6587-small

Scrap corrugated ready for recycling

At the end of the semester students are graded on their knowledge of the CAD table as well as their ability to successfully work with clients, and design and produce a purposeful, real-life product. The project is a great opportunity for students to network, build their resumes and portfolios and experience design and production in its entirety.

“There is a lot of excitement throughout the department right now,” says Pete Rivard, Principal Instructor of Pre-Media Technologies, when discussing the recent installation. “Students are having a hard time paying attention in Photoshop class because they are too busy refining their package designs! Although we obviously want them to pay attention to their other courses, it is neat to see them so excited about their projects. Package design is a complex process. Nobody gets it right the first time, even out in industry. So to have this table in our lab gives every student in the program a second, third or seventeenth chance to adjust their designs to meet the demands of the material. The finished result should be the equal to any carton on any store shelf anywhere.”

The 2015 table is also generating buzz throughout the community as Dunwoody is currently the only College in the state of Minnesota that has this table for the use of packaging and retail display design. Dunwoody also enjoys the support of local corrugated manufacturer and box design business Liberty Carton, who happily provides the graphics program with all the corrugated material it needs.

“The table also helps with the ‘hands-on’ piece of Dunwoody’s curriculum,” says Rivard. “Because of this table, our students will not only learn the process of packaging design, but will really get to experience it first hand. The act of manually folding and assembling and evaluating a physical object that you yourself designed and cut is a powerful experience, and causes students to want to do better.”

Rivard plans to continue the momentum this table has brought by providing CAD table demonstrations for design students and faculty from various Minnesota colleges, as well as professionals in the design and packaging industry, at the upcoming AIGA PIVOT event on April 22.

Dunwoody’s Design & Graphics Technology department offers AAS degrees in both Graphic Design and Pre-Media Technologies.