D3M Education Day


Inver Hills and DCTC partner with Urban Youth Corps

Inver Hills Community College and Dakota County Technical College hosted D3M Education Day Friday, August 3, 2018, on the DCTC main campus in Rosemount, Minnesota. The event welcomed several interns taking part in the Urban Youth Corps Internship Program (UYC). A partnership between the Office of Governor Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), UYC provides young people ages 15–18 with opportunities to help with MnDOT maintenance jobs in the Twin Cities metro area during paid summer internships.
Michelle Boe, interim executive director of the Inver Hills and DCTC foundations, reported that both colleges are working with the UYC program to assist interns through professional development training for high school credit as well as workshops that deliver direct knowledge about transportation and engineering careers.
“The collaboration is the result of outreach by the Douglas Differt Difference Makers (D3M) Endowed Scholarship Committee,” Michelle said, noting that D3M was established to inspire and empower future students interested in careers in transportation and/or construction.
“During D3M Education Day, the interns participated in hands-on sessions conducted by faculty from the Inver Hills Engineering program, and the DCTC Heavy Construction Equipment Technology and Civil Engineering Technology programs,” she added. “The day ended with a panel discussion with student, college and industry representatives.”
Monday, August 13, 2018, Michelle attended the Urban Youth Corps Internship Graduation Celebration at the Minnesota State Capitol along with Michael Berndt, interim president of Inver Hills and DCTC, Doug Differt, former MnDOT deputy commissioner and chief engineer, and Gary Thompson, project development manager at KLJ Engineering and D3M Committee chair. Also present at the event were Emma Corrie, director of strategic workforce initiatives, and Joanna Dornfeld, chief of staff, both from the Office of the Governor.

More about UYC…

The brainchild of DeWayne Jones, MnDOT Metro District maintenance manager, UYC was launched in 2017 by the Office of the Governor and MnDOT with help from:

  • Hennepin County
  • Project for Pride in Living
  • BrookLynk
  • Project Sweetie Pie
  • Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center
  • Minneapolis Public Schools
  • City of Minneapolis StepUp/Achieve Program
DeWayne Jones | Photo: Dana Hernandez
DeWayne Jones | Photo: Dana Hernandez

D3M Education Day gallery

More about Doug Differt…

Doug Differt
Doug Differt
For more than 50 years, Douglas H. Differt, PE, has worked to keep Minnesotans on the road through his leadership and civil engineering skills in the public and private sectors. Doug’s managerial expertise as a professional engineer is matched only by his drive, passion for community service, and a natural ability to define and solve the complex challenges presented by modern transportation.
As MnDOT deputy commissioner and chief engineer under two governors, Rudy Perpich and Tim Pawlenty, Doug was responsible for making sure massive construction projects as well as critical maintenance programs ran like clockwork.
“We have more than five thousand people working at MnDOT,” Doug said. “Only three hundred members of that workforce are civil engineers. Those engineers are supported by other highly trained experts, including chemists, biologists, welders, mechanics, construction managers, accountants, environmental scientists and more. Time was, on-the-job training would be enough to fill those positions. That’s no longer possible due to advances in technology. The work is just too sophisticated.”
The Douglas Differt Difference Makers (D3M) Endowed Scholarship was established to assist students interested in pursuing STEM careers. Scholarship dollars awarded through D3M will help fund the education of students at Inver Hills Community College and Dakota County Technical College. D3M is also designed to introduce students to career paths through internships and industry participation. Read more…

To learn more about the Inver Hills Foundation, contact:

Michelle Boe, JD
Interim Executive Director of Foundation
Inver Hills Community College and Dakota County Technical College
Inver Hills Office: 651-450-3519
DCTC Office: 651-423-8236
Chris Hinrichs
Foundation Business & Accounting Coordinator



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