Minnesota State Senator Terri Bonoff (DFL) of District 44 visited Design Ready Controls today to learn more about the company’s participation in the project called Minnesota PIPELINE (Private Investment, Public Education, Labor and Industry Experience). Bonoff, who drafted the original plans for the PIPELINE Project, toured the Design Ready Controls headquarters and manufacturing facility and participated in a roundtable discussion.
The PIPELINE Project supports the efforts of industries, employers and educational institutions to create education and training programs for developing employee career paths. “The PIPELINE Project is key for us, because we need leaders to continue growing,” said Design Ready Controls Chief Technology Officer, Mitchell DeJong, Ph.D. “Right now there is a high demand in manufacturing for educated and skilled talent and we have to go outside our industry to hire. We may find highly skilled people in logistics and Just In Time planning, but they may lack manufacturing knowledge. With dual training grants from the PIPELINE Project, and contributions from Design Ready Controls, employees can earn an advanced degree in manufacturing or management while continuing to work.”
Three employees taking advantage of advanced education opportunities joined the discussion with Bonoff: Chrissy Peloquin, director of fulfillment and logistics; Brady Sabatini, electrical engineering manager; and Nikki Dills, customer service manager. All three are pursuing master’s degrees in manufacturing from Minnesota State University (MSU) Mankato online via telepresence and at the MSU satellite campus at Normandale College in Bloomington, Minn.
“I was happy to see first hand how the PIPELINE Project is actually working,” said Bonoff. “It was heartwarming to see something we worked so hard to create and to see that it is really making a difference in people’s lives.”
Also in the discussion were Design Ready Controls employees Henry Guenther, human resources generalist, and Kevin Skau, chief operating officer. “As the company grows, there are always challenges and nuances to what skills the company needs,” said Skau. “Our company’s collective experience helps define what we need to learn and the skills we need to be successful; as we keep growing, that bar keeps going higher—which creates more opportunity.”
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