DCTC Partners with Minnesota Resource Center to Train Job Seekers

MN Resource Center

DCTC will provide soldering skills training and IPC certification for MRC, a division of RESOURCE, Inc.

RESOURCE, Inc. received a $249,954 grant for Dakota County Technical College to provide two short-term vocational training tracks to prepare low-income job seekers to quickly move into jobs in the energy-efficient building, construction and retrofit industries, energy efficiency assessment industry, or with manufacturers that produce sustainable products. DCTC will train them how to solder and give them two IPC certifications.

Larry Raddatz, CT Director of Manufacturing & Railroad, met with RESOURCE, Inc. last fall, along with other community-based organizations to introduce the idea. He said, “DCTC has this service and there’s a need from the industry. There are many community-based organizations with people who are looking for jobs. We have the training, so how do we connect all that and pay for it? I made the connection, they found a way to pay for it, and we’re going to train people to get jobs.”

The training will be conducted at the Minnesota Resource Center in Minneapolis three weeks in May. The first week will be dedicated to simply learning about soldering and the next two weeks will be for each IPC certification. Raddatz used the analogy of getting your driver’s license. “In 9th grade, you sat in a classroom and had a manual. You learned the rules and took a test. That’s kind of like the IPC-A-610 certification. Then at some point you went out with your mom or dad or somebody and actually got behind the wheel to learn how to drive. That’s like the hand soldering course. After all of that, you went to the driver exam station to take the behind-the-wheel test and the written exam. When you passed, you got your driver’s license. That’s the J-Standard (IPC/EIA J-STD-001).” All they need is a classroom with a standard table, electricity, and three weeks. Raddatz says, “If you have these skills and certifications, you’re very attractive to employers around here that are medical device, aerospace, military, or defense contractors. It’s very intricate work. Students have to learn to be very delicate, very precise, get it soldered and get out so they don’t leave the heat on and destroy the chip.”

DCTC is expecting to train 10-12 students at MRC. This will be the first time DCTC has provided training for them. The small group ensures that the instructor can give them all individual attention. Raddatz explained that the thing they try to emphasize with students is to think about the companies that are building these things. The products could be going into an airplane and if the technician damaged a component that is critical to the airplane, it could fail. The component could be in a piece of equipment in a hospital room or a pacemaker. Raddatz said, ” You want it to work perfectly every time, everyday, for years. Those technicians have to solder perfectly to make sure that it works in those critical life and death situations. That’s how important this stuff is, so that’s what we are training them to do over there.”

MRC, a division of RESOURCE, is a private, nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization that was founded to provide vocational evaluations for individuals with disabilities or other barriers. Since then, MRC has expanded its services to include accredited skills training and education services, placement and job retention services.

For more information about Continuing Education & Customized Training at DCTC, contact:
  • Larry Raddatz
    CT Director of Manufacturing and Railroad