U.S. Senator Al Franken Visits DCTC

Students, faculty and business leaders ask questions in open forum

U.S. Senator Al Franken with DCTC President Ron Thomas

The weather was perfect Friday afternoon, Aug. 19, when U.S. Senator Al Franken visited the main Rosemount campus of Dakota County Technical College. Franken was accompanied by Katherine Blauvelt, the senator’s field director, and Michael Dale-Stein, a staff assistant in the senator’s St. Paul office. The purpose of Franken’s visit, which was organized by Larry Raddatz, the director of manufacturing and railroad in the college’s Customized Training division, was to explore workforce and STEM-related initiatives and issues.

After visiting with DCTC President Ronald E. Thomas, Ph.D., Franken toured a customized training welding classroom and the Nanoscience Technology lab. In the lab, Billie Copley, a second-year Nanoscience Tech student, showed the senator a transistor under a scanning-electron microscope. After the tour, Franken met for lunch and a question-and-answer session. He heard from students, instructors and leaders from area businesses.

Software Development Major Hilary Sharp (left)

One student, Hilary Sharp, 24, of Apple Valley, spoke about the challenges of balancing work and school. Sharp and Franken agreed that working too much places added pressure on students, which can have an adverse effect on their schoolwork. A Software Development major and ASSETS scholar, Sharp discovered her love for all things IT (including homework) after starting at DCTC and looks forward to a career as a software engineer.

DCTC Director of Manufacturing and Railroad Larry Raddatz with Senator Franken in CT soldering classroom

For more information about the visit, contact:
  • Larry Raddatz
    Customized Training Director of Manufacturing and Railroad

U.S. Senator Franken DCTC Visit Gallery