Industrial Engineering Technician Students Tour Gemini

Tour included guidance on job applications and interviews

Students and faculty in the Industrial Engineering Technician program at Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) toured the Gemini facility in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, in late March 2023. The tour covered the Gemini campus and included discussions about employment opportunities. Gemini Human Resources and leadership engaged in a valuable conversation with students, providing insights on Gemini, their expectations of potential employees, and offered valuable guidance on filling out job applications and interviewing.

Dr. Joe Mollner, an industrial engineering technician instructor, accompanied his students on the Gemini tour. “This experience was an excellent opportunity for our students to observe potential types of work environments in the industry,” Dr. Mollner said. “Gemini was a fantastic host—and it is obvious they value and respect all of their employees.”

Kim Shaff, executive director of foundations and community relations for DCTC and Inver Hills Community College, reported: “We are grateful to have Gemini as a Champion Sponsor at DCTC this year. By extending support to the Industrial Engineering Technician program, Gemini is contributing toward program enhancements and playing an important part in the creation of well-educated and prepared individuals who are poised to enter the workforce.”

Executive Director Shaff added that almost one-third of DCTC students are from low-income households, and many more encounter significant financial obstacles that threaten their ability to enroll and complete their academic programs. The college’s corporate sponsors provide financial stability and industry insight that produces a reputable and challenging two-year educational experience at DCTC. Cash and in-kind contributions significantly enhance our 50+ academic programs and services adding tremendous value to the student experience.

Student perspectives

“It was cool seeing a $1.8 million robot at work.”

“Watching their unique machines and technology at work was interesting—especially when it is equipment that we will soon be working on.”

“The company was clean, thorough, and obviously cares about their employees.”

Gemini tour gallery

Gemini perspective: Margaret Lampman

“On Thursday, March 23, a group of students from DCTC and their instructor visited Gemini, a local manufacturer and steward of the community. Their visit was intended to introduce the students to the organization, share job opportunities, tour the facilities, and present DCTC with sponsorship funds. During the first portion of the visit, the students learned about the culture of Gemini, which values people and their development. This fit right into the students’ introductions, which included what they wanted to learn from their program at DCTC.

“The leaders present from Gemini shared about their career path, including how many of them didn’t know what they wanted to do for their career until later in life. Information about Gemini’s recruiting and onboarding process was also shared to help students learn key resume tips, how to interview, and what Gemini provides to new hires without formal technical training.

“The facility tour was exciting for the students as they got to see many processes like CNC machining, plastic extrusion, rotational molding, and robotics. One of our tour guides said the students were very engaged in the tour, asking about the company’s 60 years in business and the wide variety of products made in Cannon Falls. She also shared how we support current students at Gemini with flexible schedules and tuition reimbursement.

“Many of the staff on campus jumped right in to answer questions and help DCTC students understand about the equipment and production processes. Frequent student comments included the friendliness of Gemini staff and the cleanliness of the facilities. The final piece of the visit included presenting a $5,000 check to DCTC to support student success. Gemini plans to continue supporting DCTC and its students because of the positive impact on the community and tomorrow’s workforce.”

Margaret Lampman
Human Resource Manager

More about Gemini…¹

Gemini is an industry leader with the aim to protect and identify what matters. We specialize in producing made-to-order dimensional signage, plates, plaques, cast bronze monuments, and industrial protective cases. We are a second-generation family-owned manufacturer headquartered in Minnesota with production facilities throughout North America. Though we continue to grow, we never lose sight of the small-town values that got us here.


More about the Industrial Engineering Technician program at DCTC…

The Industrial Engineering Technician program allows you to “earn while you learn” while introducing you to a high-demand and well-paid career field. According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the industrial engineering field has the highest employee demand rating possible—five out of five stars.

The industrial engineering field is a vast and everchanging industry that has numerous employment opportunities. Production and manufacturing have radically changed over the decades. This career field now relies on robotics and mechanized production more than ever.

The Industrial Engineering Technician program at DCTC introduces you to numerous crucial skill areas, including:

  • Mechanics
  • Electrical
  • HVAC
  • Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs)
  • Mechatronics
  • Electromechanical
  • Pneumatics
  • Hydraulics
  • Welding
  • And much more…

As a student in the program, you will become proficient in skill sets essential to a blend of fields, allowing you to explore opportunities on many career paths.

The Industrial Engineering Technician program is not like normal college programs, but utilizes an apprenticeship model instead of the traditional college model. You will be highly encouraged to work in the industry while taking classes. The number of courses per semester varies due to this experiential aspect.

During the first year of the program, you will develop the skills you’ll need to find employment and/or an internship over the summer between your first and second year. After returning in the fall, you’ll continue your employment during your second year due to a decrease in your credit load. This setup gives you the significant advantage of “earning while you learn.”


Learn more about the Industrial Engineering Technician program at DCTC by contacting:

Room 2-110

¹ SOURCE: Gemini

Industrial Engineering Technicians

Help industrial engineers to design processes to make better use of resources at work sites.
This career pays above the statewide median wage of $24.45/hour.


Median: $30.90/hour
High: $38.75/hour

Seven-county Twin Cities metro

Median: $31.45/hour
High: $39.16/hour


In Minnesota, there are 3,260 workers employed in this small career, which is currently in very high demand compared to other careers. Growth rate is 4.4 percent in the Minnesota.

There will be a need for about 3,764 new Industrial Engineering Technicians to meet market demand between 2020–2030 This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.

— Minnesota State CAREERwise Education (April 25, 2023)