DCTC Receives MJSP Grant for Soldering Technology Training

Four top-tier electronics manufacturing companies form consortium that will use $389,849 in grant funds in partnership with college

Dakota County Technical College, Ayrshire Electronics, Dimation, Goodrich Corporation and Minnetronix have been awarded a $389,849 grant from the Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Minnesota Job Skills Partnership that will provide advanced soldering technology training to some 500 employees of the four companies over the next two years.

“The IPC Certification and Soldering Technology program at DCTC is the only college program in the United States to offer comprehensive training of this nature,” reported John Gammel, a DCTC soldering technology instructor. “We teach students on assorted practice boards and on populated computer system boards to simulate actual training repair and rework.”

“The program’s unique training methodologies and techniques rapidly accelerate skill development,” Gammel added, “allowing manufacturers to realize the full potential of their soldering personnel, which maximizes investment returns through enhanced productivity.”

The U.S. is the world’s second largest producer of electronics products, accounting for roughly 19 percent of global production. The nation also represents the world’s largest electronics market with an approximately 27 percent share.

According to 2005 data, the most current available, Minnesota was ranked 17th on a national list of “cyberstates,” employing 128,000 tech workers with a total payroll of $8.8 billion.

In broad terms, the Minnesota computer and electronic products manufacturing industry accomplishes the following :

  • Employs 52,610 people (2.3 percent of total state employment)
  • Comprises 543 business establishments
  • Pays higher than average weekly wages ($1,372 vs $858)
  • Contributes $3.75 billion in total wages paid in Minnesota, or approximately 3.6 percent of all wages paid in state

In line with the grant, the four companies partnering with DCTC formed the Twin Cities Electronics Consortium, providing advanced electronics manufacturing services and solutions to a broad spectrum of industry consumers.

  • Ayrshire Electronics
    A full-service international electronics manufacturing services company with more than 100 employees in Minnesota, Ayrshire offers cost-effective, end-to-end manufacturing solutions from printed circuit assembly and complex systems integration to final configuration, test and distribution.
  • Dimation
    Incorporated in Burnsville, Minn., in 2005, Dimation generates more than $3 million in revenue annually, providing quick-turn electronic prototype, advanced die level, and design services to customers in the avionics, medical, defense and consumer markets.
  • Goodrich Corporation
    Goodrich delivers a vast array of products for aircraft and aircraft engine manufacturers, airlines and government. Goodrich systems and components can be found on almost every major aircraft flying or in production today.
  • Minnetronix
    Based in Minnesota and employee-owned, Minnetronix develops and builds a wide range of innovative medical products for customers across the U.S. Founded in 1996 by three former 3M engineers, Minnetronix has grown to more than 130 employees and continues to expand.

At a signing ceremony held on Feb. 18 on the DCTC Rosemount Campus, executives from each of the consortium companies gave an industry perspective on the MJSP grant.

Paul Moe, the director of the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership, provided an economic perspective, noting that grants of this scope work to help solve the current financial problems facing the state and its business communities.

“The MJSP grant also provides funds to establish a new microsoldering lab at DCTC,” Moe said, “while expanding interest in soldering as a skill set. What better employability solution than soldering at this point?”

Paul Moe

Richard Tvedten, the director for Customized Training & Continuing Education for theMinnesota State Colleges & Universities system, also spoke at the grant signing, praising the work of Larry Raddatz, the DCTC Customized Training coordinator who drew up the original grant proposal.

“DCTC represents the system very, very well,” Tvedten said.

For more information on the grant, please contact DCTC Customized Training Coordinator Larry Raddatz at 651-423-8276 or larry.raddatz@dctc.edu.