Center News /
December 3, 2021

Transportation Center Director Speaks with President Joe Biden during visit to DCTC

On November 30th, 2021 President Biden traveled to Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) in Rosemount, Minnesota to give his remarks on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The Tour

Before his remarks, President Biden took a short tour of the college and our Executive Director, Chris Hadfield, was able to speak with him along with Sam Gneth, one of the first students going through the Minnesota State Commercial Driver Academy, and Sarah Riviere-Herzan. Although the visit was brief, Chris was able to talk about the Commercial Driver Academy and how it was created to help solve the truck driver shortage that the nation is currently facing, why we partner with industry to enhance education, and how the ISA-TOPE National Science Foundation Grant will help prepare our technicians for the rise autonomous technologies.

The President also met with automotive technology instructor, Jeff Copeland, medium heavy truck technology instructor, Ken Klassen, and Alayceona “Laylay” King, automotive technology student, to discuss hybrid/electric technologies and emissions control.

Chris also had the opportunity to talk to the Secretary of the US Department of Education, Miguel Cardona. They discussed the TCOE’s approach and solution to challenges in Career and Technical Education, workforce development, and partnerships with industry and education in Minnesota. Cardona had emphasized how the nation is hurting despite the great jobs in transportation and the trades that continue to go unfilled. The Secretary even requested a follow up with the TCOE to explore what Minnesota’s partnership model really looks like and how the federal government can help create positive environments for businesses and employers to engage with education and even provide resources to middle and high school students that will engage them, along with the people that influence them, in trades and technical education and careers.

President’s Remarks

President Biden was introduced by one of DCTC’s Heavy Construction Equipment Technology students and Minnesota Army National Guard veteran, Sarah Riviere-Herzan. During her introduction, Sarah mentions that she is hoping to start her own heavy construction equipment company after graduation with an all female staff and says that she wants to serve as an example to other women, to show that they can also work in the trades.

During the President’s remarks, Biden, referring to DCTC, explains that “In places like this, we’re going to train the next generation of workers to do the jobs that my infrastructure law and our Build Back Better Act are going to put into even greater demand.  We’re going to need more qualified people. 
And we’re talking about students learning how to repair electric vehicles and battery drivetrains, which are — major auto manufacturers say — will be 40 to 50 percent of all vehicles in the United States of America by the year 2030; becoming line workers we’ll need to have to modernize our electrical grid and the commercial electricians who can help us install 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations we’re going to put in, including along the highways we’re building, so you never have to worry about running out of power…”

Another benefit of the Build Back Better plan will increase the maximum Pell Grant award by $550. The plan will also invest $10 billion in job training programs and expand registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship programs.

Those who were in attendance included Governor Tim Walz, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, and U.S. Representatives Dean Phillips, and Betty McCollum. Also in attendance was U.S. Representative Angie Craig, who was a key component in bringing the President to DCTC which is located in Minnesota’s second district, which she represents.

Rewatch the President’s Remarks