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Tech college recognized for commitment to veterans

Dakota County Technical College was proclaimed a Yellow Ribbon Company during a Yellow Ribbon Summit held Sept. 22 in Farmington in part to recognize new Yellow Ribbon organizations. DCTC was one of 30 recipients of the distinction

"We're happy to be part of an organization that's stepping up," said Nicole Meulemans, the DCTC Student Life director.

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon raises awareness and connects Minnesota military personnel and their families through community support, training, services and resources. Additionally the program provides reintegration training to soldiers returning from combat.

Meulemans said the school prides itself on the efforts it has made to help the veterans who attend the school and decided to apply for the designation to make its commitment known. The school has also made a commitment to increase its efforts.

"We've made the commitment to be extremely veteran friendly. We want to support these students and their families the best we can," said Meulemans.

As part of its application DCTC explained what the school has done for veterans and their families so far and what efforts they plan to make in the future.

To support students the school has a Veterans Resource Center in its Student Life Center, hosts the South Metro Region Higher Education Veterans program on campus, has an active Veterans Club and has career center staff who specialize in helping former military personnel.

The college has held events for military personnel and their families including a one-day vehicle safety inspection clinic last February and a family day last November.

Meulemans said the school will continue to do what it can to assist veterans. Those efforts will include having faculty and staff serve as job coaches for the Yellow Ribbon Mentorship program, offering up facilities for Yellow Ribbon programs, and offering networking opportunities for military families.

"If there are things we can do to help make their return better and to say thank you then we're going to do it," Meulemans said.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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