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Former Blue Knight Drafted by Orioles

Pitcher Lucas Long signs with MLB team

Lucas Long

Lucas Long, a former pitcher for the Blue Knights baseball team at Dakota County Technical College, was selected in the 24th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Baltimore Orioles. Long was a junior at the University of San Diego and pitched one season for the Toreros, posting a 4–3 record with a 2.41 ERA in 20 appearances and eight starts. He pitched 71 innings, striking out 62 batters. He was one of seven Toreros selected in the MLB draft.

Luca Long

lucas-long4As a sophomore at DCTC during the 2012–2013 season, Long, a 6-0 right-hander from Minneapolis, Minn., made the NJCAA All-Region Region 13 team. The Blue Knights finished the season one game away from going to the NJCAA DII World Series. Long joined the Knights after a freshman campaign at the University of Arizona the year the Wildcats won the 2012 College World Series. He played high school ball at the Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield, Minn.

“Lucas reported to Florida for an Orioles mini-camp and assignment to a minor league team,” said Trent Seaman, DCTC head baseball coach. “He received a signing bonus and funds for school. We wish him the best of luck in his pro career.”

For more information about Blue Knights baseball at DCTC, contact:

DCTC Partnering on Minnesota FastTRAC Grant

Goodwill-Easter Seals/Transportation Career Pathways to provide training and internships for under-skilled adults in Dakota and Scott counties

Goodwill-Easter Seals/Transportation Career Pathways

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has awarded $1.45 million to 18 adult career pathways projects in the state under the Minnesota FastTRAC initiative to help train and place 707 workers statewide.

As part of the Minnesota FastTRAC initiative, Dakota County Technical College is partnering on an $83,043 Goodwill-Easter Seals/Transportation Career Pathways grant. Thanks to the grant, 24 under-skilled adults in Dakota and Scott counties will build foundational skills while completing basic electrical and brakes coursework and an internship. Five college credits will go toward earning an Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair 18-credit certificate.

Anne S. Johnson, M.B.A., interim associate vice president of strategic initiatives at Dakota County Technical College and Inver Hills Community College, noted that the FastTRAC grant will enhance academic programming and support for underserved populations in two counties served by the Dakota-Scott Workforce Investment Board.

“The partnership with Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota, Cedar Valley Learning Center, and the various automotive industry partners will help strengthen the local economy by putting citizens to work,” Johnson said. “Goodwill-Easter Seals is the fiscal agent on the grant and is also providing a career navigator. The grant will allow for credential stacking and upward mobility in the industry. The partnership is exciting and includes known best practices in helping the underserved obtain academic and employment success.”

Minnesota-FastTRAC1DCTC Interim Dean of Transportation and Industry Chad Sheets added that the Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair certificate is a high-demand credential. “We are hearing from industry all the time that MLR is a hard area to fill,” Sheets said. “The college is addressing that ongoing demand while helping individuals get the education they need to be work-ready.”

Eric Lind, Adult Basic Education (ABE) manager at the Cedar Valley Learning Center in Apple Valley, Minn., reported that Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan ABE is excited to be a partner on the grant.

“The role of ABE is to provide co-instruction with DCTC in three courses—Intro to Automotive Maintenance Bridge, Basic Electrical, and Brakes,” Lind said. “In the Intro to Automotive Maintenance Bridge course, a licensed ABE teacher will help students develop their academic and college readiness skills as the students are introduced to automotive maintenance concepts and equipment. In the Basic Electrical and Brakes courses, the ABE teacher will provide students additional support and instruction in the academic skills needed to succeed in these courses.”

Goodwill-Easter Seals/Transportation Career Pathways partners

Workforce development partners

  • Dakota-Scott Workforce Investment Board
  • Labor Standards and Apprenticeship Division of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry

Community-based organization partner

  • Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota

Education partners

  • Rosemount/Eagan/Apple Valley Adult Basic Education
  • SouthWest Metro Adult Basic Education
  • Dakota County Technical College

Employer partners

  • Mauer Chevrolet
  • Cox Motors
  • Osceola Auto Sales & Service
  • Eppen’s Auto Service
  • Luther Automotive Group
  • Apple Valley Car Clinic
  • Inver Grove Toyota
  • Merit Chevrolet
About Minnesota FastTRAC

Minnesota FastTRAC’s approach integrates basic skills and career training in high-demand fields, meeting business needs and ensuring that students find jobs with a pathway to future employment. The collaborative effort seeks to make Minnesota more competitive by helping low-skill and low-income adults succeed in the workplace.

Minnesota FastTRAC is a partnership including the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Minnesota Department of Education – Adult Basic Education, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, and the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Minnesota FastTRAC partners form a professional learning community, building the capacity of educators and workforce development providers across the state to align service and deliver effective programming for high barrier populations. — Courtesy of the DEED website

Becky Brink Ray, director of employment training and education at Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota, pointed out the importance of career navigation in the training process. “The Goodwill-Easter Seals career navigator will be involved with students throughout Bridge, Integrated Class and continued AMLR Certificate coursework as well as the employer internship, ensuring that students are connected to critical resources on campus and addressing non‐academic needs,” Ray said. “Career navigation services are designed to support students on an individual basis, and the level of contact between each student varies, particularly as people become increasingly successful balancing academic and personal life and as their comfort increases with established campus services.”

For more information about the Goodwill-Easter Seals/Transportation Career Pathways grant, contact:
  • Chad Sheets
    Interim Dean of Transportation and Industry
    Dakota County Technical College
    651-423-8311

Blue Knights Honored as Athletes of Distinction

Carissa Allen and Brett Lindsey recognized by NJCAA

Brett Lindsey and Carissa Allen

Two students at Dakota County Technical College, Carissa Allen, a sophomore fullback on the women’s soccer team, and Brett Lindsey, a sophomore shortstop on the baseball team, were recognized by the National Junior College Athletic Association with Academic Student-Athlete Awards as Athletes of Distinction. Allen received the Superior Academic Achievement Award, earning a 3.9 GPA. Lindsey received the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award, earning a 3.78 GPA.

Blue Knights women’s soccer competes in NJCAA Division I. The team finished the 2013–2014 season with an 8–7–2 record. Blue Knights baseball competes in NJCAA Division II. The team finished the 2013–2014 season with a 21–14 record and a second consecutive NJCAA Region 13 Tournament championship.

More about the new NJCAA Athletes of Distinction at DCTC
Carissa Allen | Blue Knights Soccer

Carissa Allen

  • Age: 20
  • Hometown: Savage, Minn.
  • Residence now: Savage, Minn.
  • 2012 Burnsville High School graduate
  • Area of study: Individualized Studies A.S.

Carissa Allen | Blue Knights SoccerCarissa Allen is transferring to the University of Minnesota, Duluth, in fall 2014 as an accounting major. Carissa received a $4,000 Chancellor’s Transfer Scholarship from UMD in recognition of her academic achievements at DCTC.

She chose DCTC after talking with Cam Stoltz, the team’s former head coach (read “Mark Obarski Hired as Women’s Soccer Coach” in DCTC News). Cam’s wife was Carissa’s first- and third-grade teacher so a connection with the college was already in place.

“Playing soccer for DCTC helped me gain confidence,” said Carissa, who served as a student senator and a member of the  2013–2014 Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). “I got my feet on the ground and came out of my shell. The college’s small class sizes gave me the chance to communicate directly with my instructors. All the sports teams at DCTC are very supportive of each other. I’ve made some great friends.”

Carissa Allen | Blue Knights SoccerCarissa has coached U8 and U10 boys rec soccer. She continues to work at a Chinese restaurant, a job she has held for four years. She has two older siblings, Mandy, 26, and Brett, 25. She enjoys family time and grew up going to Mandy and Brett’s soccer and basketball games.

  • Best thing about soccer: “Soccer is an all-around team sport. It takes everyone to win.”
  • Advice for college athletes trying to balance sports and academics: “Don’t procrastinate and use your free time wisely. Road trips are a great time to get homework done.”
  • Favorite movie of late: 21 Jump Street
  • Favorite book of late: The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
  • Favorite TV shows: Veronica Mars and One Tree Hill
  • Favorite music of late: SoMo
  • Favorite sports team: U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team

Cam Stoltz on Carissa Allen: “Carissa was the perfect player for us. She came to DCTC for practical reasons and could have gone basically anywhere. She is highly dedicated to soccer and played virtually every minute of her freshman and sophomore seasons. Carissa is a solid, core player.”

Brett Lindsey | Blue Knights Baseball

Brett Lindsey

  • Age: 20
  • Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
  • Residence now: Eagan, Minn.
  • 2012 Eagan High School graduate
  • Area of study: Individualized Studies A.S.

Brett Lindsey | Blue Knights BaseballIn fall 2014, Brett Lindsey is transferring to Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Brett will play baseball for the Tigers on a full-ride scholarship. He is planning to major in biology or chemistry with the career goal of becoming a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF.

Brett played baseball year-round in high school. In 2011, he was in a car accident that left him in a coma for four days. Physical therapy lasted more than a year—he had to learn how to walk again, but he played baseball for the Eagan Wildcats his senior year.

During the 2013–2014 season, Brett batted .364 with 11 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. As a fielder, he had 84 total chances with only four errors.

When he’s not playing baseball or hanging out with his friends, Brett is practicing baseball with his father. “My dad has been a big influence on my success,” he said.

Brett Lindsey | Blue Knights BaseballBrett was exceptionally involved at DCTC beyond baseball, serving on various Student Senate committees and as a member of the  2013–2014 Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). “Attending DCTC allowed me to find out who I am and who I want to be,” he said. He has one older sister, Payton, 17, a senior at Eagan High School.

Trent Seaman on Brett Lindsey: “I have known Brett since he was fifteen years old. One thing that I admire about him is his ability to give his best effort in whatever he does. Once given a task to accomplish, he will do whatever it takes to complete that task to the best of his ability. This trait will separate him from his fellow workers and allow him to excel and move up the corporate ladder. He has always been a great baseball player, student, teammate, friend and leader since I have known him. As a result of these traits, he is now an NJCAA Athlete of Distinction.”

For more information about NJCAA athletics at DCTC, visit GoBlueKnights.com, or contact:
  • Cam Stoltz
    Athletic Coordinator
    Men’s Soccer Head Coach
    651-423-8462
For more information about Blue Knights baseball at DCTC, contact:
For more information about Blue Knights women’s soccer at DCTC, contact:

DCTC Wins Four Medals at SkillsUSA Nationals

DCTC at SkillsUSA Nationals

Nine students place in top 10

Ten students represented Dakota County Technical College in nine competitions at the 50th Annual SkillsUSA National Championships June 23–27, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo., taking home four medals. Nine students placed in the top 10.

Elise Groenewold

Elise Groenewold

Brian Warzeha, a student in the college’s Electrical Construction and Maintenance Technology program, won a silver medal in Related Technical Math. Richard Frascone, an a student in the Automotive Technician program, and Elise Groenewold, a student in the Auto Body Collision Technology program, won bronze medals in two of the most competitive events at the championships, Automotive Service Technology and Collision Repair Technology. Groenewold was the first woman to ever break the top three in Collision Repair Technology. Margaret Speikers, a student in the Medical Assistant program, won a bronze medal in Medical Terminology. Rhonda Galloway, a student in the Photography program, received Best in Show for her work in the Photography competition.

Michael Crider, student life assistant, Dawn Braa, early childhood and youth development instructor, Darrell Tangen, photography instructor, Jeff Copeland, automotive technician instructor, and Gerry Rainford, auto body collision technology instructor, attended the nationals as SkillsUSA advisors. Numerous other DCTC faculty and staff helped prepare students for their competitions or provided support from home.

Brian Warzeha (first on right)

Brian Warzeha (first on right)

Richard Franscone (second from left)

Richard Franscone (second from left)

Elise Groenewold (second from left)

Elise Groenewold (second from left)

Margaret Speikers (second from left)

Margaret Speikers (second from left)

DCTC competitors at SkillsUSA National Championships

  • Brian Warzeha
    • Related Technical Math
    • Silver medal
  • Richard Frascone
    • Automotive Service Technology
    • Bronze medal
  • Elise Groenewold
    • Collision Repair Technology
    • Bronze medal
  • Margaret Speikers
    • Medical Terminology
    • Bronze medal
  • Rhonda Galloway, Best in Show, Photography

    Rhonda Galloway, Best in Show, Photography

    Maria Barrick

    • Early Childhood
    • 5th Place
  • Clay Carlson
    • 3D Visualization & Animation (team)
    • 9th Place
  • Tim Fink
    • 3D Visualization & Animation (team)
    • 9th place
  • Rhonda Galloway
    • Photography
    • 9th place
  • Joyce Mallery
    • Customer Service
    • 10th place
  • Delbert (Floyd) Annis
    • Prepared Speech
    • 16th place
SkillsUSA Championships

The SkillsUSA Championships showcase the best career and technical students in the nation. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels.

The multimillion-dollar national event occupies a space equivalent to 16 football fields. In 2013, nearly 6,000 contestants participated in 98 separate events. Approximately 1,500 judges and contest organizers from labor and management make the national event possible.

The philosophy of the SkillsUSA Championships is centered on:

  • Rewarding students for excellence
  • Directly involving industry in evaluating student performance
  • Keeping training relevant to employer needs

— Courtesy of the SkillsUSA website

For more information about SkillsUSA at DCTC, contact:
  • Anna Voight
    Assistant Director of Student Life
    651-423-8649

General Motors Invests in DCTC

GM ASEP receives donated 2013 Chevrolet Silverado

GM ASEP donated 2013 Chevrolet Silverado

General Motors, one of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers, donated a vehicle to Dakota County Technical College for use in the GM Automotive Service Educational Program, or GM ASEP. The 2013 Chevrolet Silverado will be used to train aspiring technicians enrolled in the program.

“We are proud to support training programs that prepare the next generation of automotive technicians,” said Rick Jackson, manager for GM ASEP. “Our commitment to our customers goes well beyond building a quality product. Our dedication to excellence starts at the training level by partnering with schools in communities around the globe to share our collective passion for the automotive industry and educate, inspire and motivate the technicians of tomorrow.”

“DCTC plays an important role in helping the auto industry fill a critical need: developing and retaining skilled automotive technicians,” said Mark Hickman, a GM ASEP instructor at the college. “This generous donation from GM enables us to deliver the highest quality education to our students.”

“Automotive technicians are in high demand in today’s marketplace,” said Diana Sancya, manager for GM Service Technical College. “Through the GM donation program, we have a significant opportunity to ensure that GM dealers can employ the best trained technicians possible.”

“The availability of qualified, trained automotive technicians is and will continue to be a critical area of importance for GM,” said Chris Wallace, technical training integration manager at GM. “Vehicle donations to support technician training programs are pivotal to address the growing need for technicians at our dealerships across the country.”

GM ASEP

About GM ASEP

Since 1979, GM’s continued commitment to identify and support the GM ASEP colleges and universities has produced more than 16,000 service technicians. GM ASEP incorporates advanced automotive technical training with a strong academic foundation of math, reading, and electronics, and both analytical and technical skills. Students can earn an associate of applied science (A.A.S.) degree while working and learning on the job, resulting in a solid education combined with invaluable work experience.

For more information about GM ASEP at DCTC, contact: