Category Archives: Industry Partners

Construction Management students benefit from sitting down with industry representatives

Mock interviews = real life lessons

The interviews may not have been “real,” but there was real benefit in the experience.

This April, representatives from 12 companies in the construction industry led mock interviews with 12 Dunwoody students in the Construction Management and Construction Project Management program areas. The students walked away with their questions answered and gained some tips and advice to keep in mind when applying for future positions.

Participating companies included: Prominent Construction, LLC; Constructive Builders; H&B Elevators; Kraus-Anderson Companies; Inside Edge CIS; Parsons; Mortenson Construction; Trex Commercial Products, Inc.; CliqStudios/Wayzata Home Products; David Weekley Homes; and Apex Construction & Tile.

Student takeaways

“What I learned from the mock interview was things to keep in mind about the company I interview with – finding out about a company’s values – especially as it relates to the employees.  The most helpful tip was how to focus on my strengths and relay this to a perspective employer and their Human Resources department.”

-Dana Maier, Construction Project Management, expected graduation May 2018

“The mock interview was a great opportunity to get in front of potential industry employers in a pressure-free environment with instant feedback to responses as the questions were asked.”

-Travis Northway, Construction Management, expected graduation May 2019

“What I learned from participating in the mock interview was that you should always come prepared with questions for the company. You want to know what they will do for you just as much as what you will do for them. What I found most helpful was that the recruiters helped us refine our resumes and helped us with how to answer questions.”

-Tyler Fish, Construction Project Management, expected graduation May 2019

“These types of mock interviews give students, such as myself, adequate exposure to what a real life interview is comprised of. You get a firsthand look into what verbal and mental skills may be required to succeed. All that paired with interviewers giving instantaneous, genuine feedback helps me build a platform for continuous growth in my field.”

-Kyle Bliss, Construction Management, expected graduation May 2018

 

DUNWOODY COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY ANNOUNCES $500,000 INVESTMENT FROM OTTO BREMER TRUST

Gift adds to $10 million in capital investments to transform the Dunwoody campus, including the creation of Otto Bremer Trust Hall 

Minneapolis (January 30, 2018) – Dunwoody College of Technology announced today a $500,000 grant by the Otto Bremer Trust, the latest capital gift from the region’s business and philanthropic communities to support Dunwoody’s effort to meet the challenge of bridging the skills gap in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest.

With a growing student population in its School of Engineering and other STEM-related majors as well as the need to better serve an increasingly diverse student body, Dunwoody has embarked on the first phase of an ambitious campus facilities plan. The Otto Bremer Trust investment, combined with other generous donations, will support the transformation of a currently under-utilized gymnasium into a two-story space with a state-of-the-art Learning Commons on the upper floor and a new Welcome Center for students and families on the lower level as well as an open area for community and student gatherings.

In order to recognize the gift, Dunwoody will name a student gathering, collaboration, and study space at the entrance to the Learning Commons as Otto Bremer Trust Hall.

An architectural rendering showing a student study/meeting area just outside the entrance to a learning commons

An architectural rendering showing the location of Otto Bremer Trust hall

“The Otto Bremer Trust’s gift will have a direct impact on our students,” President Rich Wagner said. “We are grateful for the philanthropic support of partners like the Otto Bremer Trust.”

A private, not-for-profit college, Dunwoody relies on charitable contributions to help fund core elements of its academic program, including scholarships, equipment, and new construction like the gymnasium remodel.

“We’ve admired the work that Dunwoody is doing to provide a strong educational curriculum for a wide variety of technical skills,” said Daniel C. Reardon, co-CEO and Trustee, Otto Bremer Trust. “The College understands the changing dynamics of tomorrow’s workforce and is responding with programming to meet those needs.”

As the only private, not-for-profit technical college in the Upper Midwest, Dunwoody is uniquely positioned to expand its more than a century-long track record of supplying the region with graduates who have the technical skills, work ethic, and passion and curiosity for their chosen field to help the region’s employers not only fill their current open positions, but also develop future generations of leaders and entrepreneurs.

About Otto Bremer Trust

Based in St. Paul, Minn., the Otto Bremer Trust is a private charitable trust established in 1944 by founder Otto Bremer, a successful banker and community business leader. OBT owns 92 percent of Bremer Bank and manages a diversified investment portfolio. This mission of OBT is to invest in people, places and opportunities in the Upper Midwest. Since its inception, OBT has invested more than $600 million in organizations throughout Minnesota, North Dakota and western Wisconsin.

About Dunwoody College of Technology

Founded in 1914, Dunwoody College of Technology is the only private, not-for-profit technical college in the Upper Midwest. It has provided a hands-on, applied education to more than 200,000 men and women, who in turn have gone on to meaningful and rewarding careers and become outstanding technicians, successful entrepreneurs and industry leaders. Located on the western edge of downtown Minneapolis, Dunwoody offers more than 30 certificate, associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree programs in the areas of Applied Management, Automotive, Computer Technology, Construction Sciences & Building Technology, Design & Graphics Technology, Engineering, Radiologic Technology, Robotics & Manufacturing, and Workforce Training & Continuing Education.

###

Contact:

William Morris
Dunwoody College of Technology
612.381.3367 | wmorris@dunwoody.edu

Dunwoody College Announces Multi-Million Dollar Renovation

An architectural rendering of the Welcome Center for prospective students and their families. The space will also include a gathering area for lectures, social events, student presentations, etc.

The main floor of the old gymnasium will be turned into a Welcome Center for prospective students and their families. The space will also include a gathering area for lectures, social events, student presentations, etc.

Mortenson Selected as General Contractor For Major Renovation of Iconic Minneapolis Campus

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Dunwoody College of Technology, the leader in technical education for more than a century, is taking a big step towards its next one hundred years. The College is breaking ground on a new construction project on its Minneapolis campus: a major renovation of its currently under-utilized gymnasium to create a state-of-the-art Learning Commons and a Welcome Center for students and their families. The project is part of a comprehensive plan that will transform the Dunwoody campus to better meet the future needs of a growing student body, which will help bridge the skills gap in the Minnesota workforce.

“This is more than an upgrade to the physical spaces of our campus,” says President Rich Wagner, Dunwoody College of Technology. “It’s about continuing to create the kind of collaborative, immersive learning spaces Dunwoody has become known for as well as staying ahead of what’s needed to fully prepare our students, from all walks of life and all parts of the state, for success in the 21st Century workplace. There’s a critical skills gap in Minnesota and around the country; this renovation is the next step in our efforts to meet employers’ needs this year, this decade and well beyond.”

Part of that need is spurred by the growth of students in the College’s new School of Engineering. In addition, many of Dunwoody’s other programs are growing and technology is merging across many of the programs requiring space for students to gather and work on sophisticated projects.

The Dunwoody Board, working with project management firm NTH, Inc., has selected Mortenson as General Contractor. Credo Campus Planning & Architecture drew up the multi-year, comprehensive master plan.

“Dunwoody College is one of the oldest technical colleges of its kind in the nation,” says Ken Sorensen, Senior Vice President of Minneapolis operations, Mortenson. “But even more importantly, it’s an iconic building in the Twin Cities metro landscape. Our team is obviously thrilled to partner with Dunwoody and help realize the next stage of the College’s long history.”

Demolition begins later this fall and will focus on a re-imagining of the space currently occupied by the under-utilized gymnasium, which was first constructed in 1924. Smart re-use of this existing space will create 24,000 square feet of space dedicated to support students with a new Learning Commons and Welcome Center. The Learning Commons will house a library, technology for research and additional digital library access, classrooms and multi-use spaces for faculty and student collaboration. The new Welcome Center, capable of accommodating events of up to 200 attendees, will provide students with space to collaborate to work on multi-disciplinary projects and will house the College’s Admissions department.

Architectural Rendering of the new Learning Commons

A second floor will be added to the gymnasium space for a Learning Commons, which will house a library, technology for research and additional digital library access, classrooms and multi-use spaces for faculty and student collaboration.

The original plan for Dunwoody’s main building allowed for the flexible use of space as well as additions and in-fills. Since the building was completed in 1917, the College has taken advantage of this pre-planned flexibility but until now it has not undertaken such a thorough and comprehensive review of space usage for current and future needs. The project is expected to be completed in late 2018 and is funded by capital investments from alumni, industry partners, and other friends of Dunwoody College.

# # #

About Dunwoody College of Technology

Founded in 1914, Dunwoody College of Technology is the only private, not-for-profit technical college in the Upper Midwest. It has provided a hands-on, applied education to more than 200,000 men and women, who in turn have gone on to meaningful and rewarding careers and become outstanding technicians, successful entrepreneurs and industry leaders. Located on the western edge of downtown Minneapolis, Dunwoody offers more than 30 certificate, associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree programs in the areas of Applied Management, Automotive, Computer Technology, Construction Sciences & Building Technology, Design & Graphics Technology, Engineering, Radiologic Technology, Robotics & Manufacturing, and Workforce Training & Continuing Education.

About Mortenson

Founded in 1954, Mortenson is a Minnesota-based, family-owned company. As one of the nation’s top builders and developers, Mortenson provides a complete range of services, including planning, program management, preconstruction, general contracting, construction management, design-build and turnkey development. Mortenson has offices in Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland and Seattle with international operations in Canada.

Polar Explorer Will Steger to Keynote Dunwoody College 2017 Commencement

Will Steger headshotDunwoody College of Technology is pleased to announce that Will Steger– environmentalist, author, educator, and explorer–will be the keynote speaker at the College’s Commencement on Saturday, May 20, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Steger is known for his numerous polar expeditions, deep understanding of the environment, and his efforts to raise international awareness to environmental threats. Steger has been an eyewitness to climate change. He has traveled tens of thousands of miles over 50 years leading teams on some of the most significant polar expeditions in history.

Steger received his B.S. in Geology and M.A. in Education at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN. Steger joined Amelia Earhart, Robert Peary and Roald Amundsen in receiving the National Geographic Society’s prestigious John Oliver La Gorce Medal in 1995. In 1996, he became the National Geographic Society’s first Explorer-in-Residence. He has received the Explorers Club Finn Ronne Memorial and Lowell Thomas Awards and the Lindbergh Award. Steger is the author of four books: Over the Top of the World, Crossing Antarctica, North to the Pole, and Saving the Earth and has received several Honorary Doctorate degrees.

Steger is the founder of two nonprofits, the Will Steger Wilderness Center in Ely, MN, dedicated to innovation and leadership in a wilderness setting; and Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, headquartered in Minneapolis, with a focus on engaging educators, youth, and communities in solutions to climate change.

 

Changing Lives Through Scholarships: Paige Fischer

Scholarship Spotlight
Paige Fischer, Industrial Engineering Technology
Expected Graduation: May 2019
Women In Technical Careers (WITC) Scholarship, Graco Scholarship

Industrial Engineering Technology student Paige Fischer always knew she wanted a hands-on career. Now in her second year at Dunwoody she is looking forward to a career as a manufacturing engineer in the medical device industry after she graduates.

“I’m excited to be a manufacturing engineer with a machinist background. My dream job is a medical manufacturing engineer,” Fischer said. “The motivation is being able to be a woman who makes differences.”

The Self-Starter: An Alum Profile

Meet Vern Discher, ’48 Engineering Drafting & Design Technology

Discher_Vernon1Visit Vern and Shirley Discher’s Prior Lake home and you’ll see Dunwoody pride. A Dunwoody pennant hangs over the door in the den. Certificates acknowledging Vern’s membership in the Dunwoody 50-Year-Club and the Legacy Association are displayed on the wall, next to scores of family pictures and a map showing the couple’s travels around the world and to all 50 states.

“Shirley and I have been truly blessed in our journey through life,” says Vern. “This isn’t a ‘me’ story; it’s a ‘we’ story.”

The couple met on a double date in Minneapolis when they were still in high school. Vern was hooked instantly, but marriage had to wait until after he completed his military service in Germany and graduated from Dunwoody.

Once he had settled into work at West Bend Aluminum Company (a job the College arranged for him), he and Shirley launched their life together.

In the following years, Vern moved through a series of positions that built his knowledge of extruded aluminum manufacturing and sales.

“I was always looking for better jobs with higher pay, so I moved around from company to company in those early years,” he explains, admitting that there were a few times when he tried some “wild scheme to be my own boss” that didn’t work out. “I think I just had a built-in desire to be independent,” he explains.

In 1975, he was named general manager of Northland Marine, a division of Northland Aluminum Products that manufactured marine windshields and portholes.

The company was struggling, and Vern and CEO/owner Dave Dalquist turned it around by moving into extruded aluminum fabricating, an industry Vern knew very well.

With a new name of Northland Fabricators and a new product line, sales took off. In 1979, when Northland Aluminum was ready to sell the division, Vern and plant manager Larry Holen, bought the company, renaming it Norfab.

“A lot of the success of Norfab was my ability to hire the right people,” explains Vern. He focused on sales, and let other people do their jobs.

Shirley was often at his side at trade shows, business dinners and calls on key customers. “She did an excellent job,” says Vern. “She loved people and people loved her. We’d go to a trade show, and they’d show up at our booth and say, ‘Where’s Shirley?’”

In 1987, Vern sold his share of the company and retired to travel the world with Shirley.

“I have great personal pride in the fact that after more than 25 years, Norfab is still very much in business and that most of the employees that were there when I left are either still working there or have retired from Norfab.”

“When I look back on my career, I see that things just evolved,” says Vern. He’s pleased to see that Dunwoody continues to evolve too. “When I was there, Dunwoody was all drafting boards and tee squares,” he remembers. “Now it’s all computers. It fascinates me to go through it and to see what the young people are doing and the things they’re creating.”

Architecture Students Present Design Proposals for Steger Wilderness Center Dining Hall

In August 2016, third-year Architecture students were asked to help design a brand new dining hall for the Steger Wilderness Center, an ecologically-focused building devoted to sustainability education and climate change solution.

Splitting into three groups, the students spent their fall semester studying the land, documenting their experience, creating schematic designs of the hall, designing 3D digital models and building full-scale detail models of the building. Birchwood Café’s Chef Marshall Paulson even critiqued the students designs.

In December 2016, students presented their design proposals to students, faculty, Will Steger, and members of the design faculty.

These are their final designs.