Debra Kerrigan is the Dean of the Workforce Training and Continuing Education Department at Dunwoody College of Technology. In this position Debra’s leadership and follow-through is vital when working with business and industry to create cutting edge, job-placing programs. She also manages the quality of training in the common areas such as HVAC, Precision Manufacturing, Electrical, Green Sustainable Practice, and Facilities Service Maintenance.
After following the trends in adult education and observing the recent economic downturn that forced individuals out of work, Debra focused on sharing her technical knowledge, collaborative management skills, and customer service skills to work with the unemployed/underemployed individual. Debra’s main focus is on closing theskills gap for employers by designing new programs, and she has just recently designed a program for industrial sewing. Debra was Dunwoody’s technical liaison in initiating the first draft of the “Right Skills Now” Program in collaboration with the President’s Council for Jobs & Competitiveness, the Manufacturing Institute, and ACT. Debra continues to work jointly with business, industry, state agencies, the Department of Education, the Higher Learning Commission, and other national organizations to create and provide solutions for the future needs of our American workforce. Her approach to launching new delivery methods for training has given her the opportunity to work with international companies in the development of apprenticeship programs.
Debra holds a Master’s Degree in Education along with a Certificate in Adult Education from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Marquette University. She has been at Dunwoody for 15 years and has served in various roles including instructor, Manager of Dunwoody’s Southwest Metro Campus in Chaska, and Director of the Evening College. Before coming to Dunwoody Debra spent several years in the structural and civil engineering industry working for companies in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and California. She has also been an adjunct instructor in the Construction Management Bachelor’s Program at the University of Minnesota.
She continues to bring value add to Dunwoody by working jointly with business, industry, state agencies, the Department Of Education, the Higher Learning Commission and State and National Organizations to create and provide solutions for the future needs of our American workforce.
Barb started with Dunwoody in 2008. Since then she has used her extensive background to reach out to businesses and the community-at-large to assess, develop and implement custom training programs. Training is tailored to meet business and organizations’ unique educational needs leveraging Dunwoody’s legacy and the “Dunwoody Difference.”
Barb holds her bachelors of science in nursing degree, which led to many different positions within the health care field, including medical product sales and health related training positions. A focus on business and industry occurred when Barb departed from the nursing field and became the president of two metropolitan Chambers of Commerce focusing on economic development, jobs and a well-trained workforce.
Today, Barb utilizes her business and industry professional network as well as sales and customer service skill sets to design and implement training business solutions. Her territory includes Minnesota as well as neighboring Upper Midwest states on topics ranging from technical skills, to green education courses to professional development skills.
Leah joined Dunwoody College in January 2013.
Leah has a strong background in cultivating unique applications for delivering communication strategies. Her professional background incorporates elements of developing creative marketing strategies, coordinating corporate initiatives, and managing the creation of internal and external collateral materials.
Leah has experience developing and standardizing corporate policies and procedural documents. These areas all required a high level of efficiency in analyzing policies as well as writing and developing corporate forms.
Leah received a bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Catherine in Communication Studies and spent the last 8 years working in the construction industry. During this time she was responsible for many different areas including construction project management, corporate training implementation and corporate communications.
While working in the construction industry Leah began instructing courses related to HR, New Hire Orientation and more focused technical training classes in project management software, general media platforms and policy instruction.
Her cultivated communication skills have solidified her reputation for effectively collaborating within cross departmental teams. Through providing a proactive and solution driven leadership style she has successfully worked to bring about unified vision to overlapping departments.
In her role at Dunwoody Leah maintains the integrity of the academic records of students and alumni. Providing accurate and credible student data to approved requesting parties. She provides process and informational support for Continuing Education programs and services. Completes course invoicing and is responsible for the administration of classes or instructional events in Continuing Education programs. This includes registration management, customer service, course/event logistics, and financial components. She also manages the day to day office operations of Workforce Development and Continuing Education department.