Visit spotlights importance of technical programs in infrastructure development
President Joseph R. Biden Jr. visited the Rosemount campus of Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) Tuesday afternoon, November 30, 2021. The U.S. president spoke for about 30 minutes in the college’s Heavy Duty Truck Technology (HDTT) area, focusing on the benefits of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Before speaking, Biden toured the HDTT area and met with students to learn more about how the college’s Transportation programs produce graduates essential for infrastructure development and enhancement. The college’s Construction & Manufacturing and STEM Careers programs also train students who will take on crucial jobs in everything from delivering high-speed internet to repairing and rebuilding roads and bridges to improving public transit to upgrading airports and seaports to neutralizing cyberattacks to modernizing the nation’s clean energy grid to meeting the diverse challenges posed by climate change.
The White House Briefing Room
November 30, 2021 • Speeches and Remarks
Dakota County Technical College
DCTC student speaker: Sarah Riviere-Herzan
Sarah Riviere-Herzan, a student in the college’s Heavy Construction Equipment Technology (HCET) program, introduced the president to an audience of roughly 100 invited guests and DCTC campus community members, including several students participating in the Student Senate as well as students majoring in Transportation programs.
Before enrolling at DCTC, Riviere-Herzan served 13 months in Kuwait with the Minnesota National Guard. She spoke about how trade and technical jobs provide superb opportunities for women in the workforce. She noted how DCTC has given her great options to advance her career, including an internship at Ziegler CAT.
Minnesota governor, U.S. senators, and U.S. representatives welcome Biden
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, U.S. Senator Tina Smith, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, and U.S. Representative Angie Craig also spoke at the event. U.S. Representative Dean Phillips and U.S. Representative Betty McCollum attended the event.
Minnesota leadership gallery
More about the U.S. president’s visit
Michael Berndt, president of DCTC and Inver Hills Community College, reported that planning for President Biden’s visit was both compressed and intense.
“We learned about the visit late last week,” Berndt said. “Our faculty and staff worked through the weekend to prepare the campus. At this point in the semester, students are deep into their projects. Students from our Transportation programs came in to reassemble diesel trucks and front-end loaders so the equipment could be ready to showcase.”
Berndt added that college operations were impacted by the magnitude of the presidential visit.
“We asked our faculty to pivot to online learning to limit the number of employees and students on campus,” he said. “In some cases, we needed to continue on-campus teaching—and the U.S. Secret Service worked with us to make that happen. For example, we are training members of the Minnesota National Guard as certified nursing assistants (CNAs) for deployment to medical facilities to reduce the strain on healthcare workers caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Guard members require access to our college labs on campus to complete their training.”
President Berndt pointed out that DCTC and Inver Hills are fully engaged with their surrounding communities.
“Business and industry leaders serve on advisory boards for our technical and academic programs,” he said. “Our faculty regularly visit employer sites to check on interning students. Keeping current with workforce trends is a top priority. The education we provide must be leading edge to best support our students and graduates as well as the full range of employers that hire them. We continually plan ways to meet critical workforce shortages. We also help employers become more informed about equity and inclusion in the workplace as the communities we serve become more racially and culturally diverse.”
President Biden visit gallery
View more event photos by opening the DCTC Flickr album:
Bipartisanship in action
President Biden’s visit represents a continuation of bipartisan efforts focused on infrastructure development and related training. As part of the American Congressional Exchange (ACE), DCTC hosted Representative Angie Craig (D-MN) from Minnesota’s 2nd congressional district and U.S. Representative Peter Meijer (R-MI) from Michigan’s 3rd congressional district.
Craig and Meijer toured the DCTC campus in August 2021 and learned more about the college’s remarkable training programs from students, staff, faculty, and administrators.
Learn more by reading the DCTC News story:
Learn more about President Biden’s visit to DCTC by contacting:
Marketing & Events Coordinator
Dakota County Technical College