40 Years in Gear

It’s still all about jobs, jobs, jobs

By Sharon LaComb, DCTC Vice President

Since DCTC opened its doors in 1970, the college’s administration, faculty and staff have been working toward one goal—providing individuals with the education they need to enter the workforce with the knowledge and tools to not only prosper, but to also give back to their communities.

Over the course of 40 years, more than 100,000 people have passed through DCTC’s credit-based academic programs, earning degrees, diplomas and certificates carefully matched to prevailing job markets.

Known for thinking forward and anticipating the imminent as well as the far-reaching needs of business and industry, the college’s Continuing Education & Customized Training division has delivered specialized, cutting-edge training to more than 200,000 people in the workforce, helping them protect, revitalize and grow their jobs.

The college’s Business and Management department—with its strong focus on leadership and entrepreneurial skill development—has served as a pivotal factor in the launching of hundreds of small companies and businesses. Our instructors believe in extending their roles as mentors, facilitators and advisors beyond the classroom and into the real business world, helping students succeed in their enterprises long after graduation.

Getting set for the future, DCTC is on the front lines in the quest to create wave after wave of green jobs that support and advance full-scale sustainability. By integrating new, alternative technologies into our curricula, we are equipping our graduates with the know-how and skills to not only help solve the serious challenges confronting our environment, but to also benefit economically from those solutions.

In fact, DCTC administrators, staff, faculty, students and alumni are working together to reduce the college’s energy consumption and carbon emissions while employing clean renewable energy—all to achieve the goal of campus carbon neutrality by the year 2020. To reach that objective, the college must forge enduring and mutually productive partnerships with other higher education institutions along with a full range of business, nonprofit, community and government entities.

One example of how the college takes a proactive, collaborative approach to education is the recent launch of Project Work/Plan, an innovative program for dislocated and underemployed workers built on partnerships between DCTC, the Minnesota WorkForce Centers, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the CAP Agency and area faith-based organizations.

Understanding that the international economic downturn was taking a harsh toll on business and industry in Dakota County, DCTC instituted Project/Workplan to provide an exhaustive pool of resources for affected workers, giving them the chance to network with other professionals, obtain career search advice and explore a centralized reservoir of career advancement options.

As members of the DCTC community, we realize that the best way to engage and assist our surrounding communities is to actually get to know the people who live there. Through the College Showcase and Septemberfest, two of the college’s best-known and most successful annual events, we invite area residents to visit our Rosemount campus and participate in an amazing array of fun, exciting and informative activities.

Looking ahead to 2010 and DCTC’s 40th Anniversary, we are rededicating our efforts in continuing and expanding the successes founded on our collegiate mission, which simply put is “Education for Employment.”

Come see how we accomplish our mission by visiting our campus during our annual events and help us celebrate 40 years of providing Minnesota’s workforce with the best in leading-edge technical education.

One thing that will remain constant at DCTC is our unbreakable commitment to our students and graduates, who know better than anyone the three most important outcomes of the higher education experience: jobs, jobs, jobs.