Working With DBR

Working With DBR

What is it like working with DMACC Business Resources? Click on the stories below to learn how businesses have benefited from our expertise.

DBR and 260E Funding Strengthen Safety​

Every business that DMACC Business Resources (DBR) partners with is different. All of them have different things that they want to improve, and unique ways they want to approach finding a solution. When Addison Zellmer, Plant Manager for Storybook Cotton Candy, decided that improving employees’ safety knowledge needed to be a priority for the company, DBR was there with a large selection of ways to make that happen.

Having previously worked for larger food manufacturing companies in the past, Zellmer was pretty used to having dedicated safety workers on the production floor at all times. But for a smaller company like Storybook, that wasn’t the solution to safety that best fit their needs. DBR connected Storybook with experts who helped them create a safety training plan that would not only train individuals on OSHA 10 and general first aid procedures, but also prepare the building in the event of an emergency like a natural disaster.

Prior to having introduced Storybook to safety training experts, DBR was there to help the company take advantage of the Iowa New Jobs Training Program, or 260E as many know it by. This program assists Iowa businesses creating new positions with new employee training. DBR helped Storybook manage the funds they received and connected them with quality instructors to meet their business training goals. Zellmer was impressed, “DBR Consultants make the whole process super simple and streamlined. They help you with paperwork, the online portal is easy to use, and reimbursements happen quickly – I truly would recommend working with DBR to any company that wants to invest in growing their business.”

In total, nine Storybook employees went through this round of safety training, with more to come in the future. “My employees work safely. And, since our use of heavy machinery is limited, the likelihood of a major injury occurring on the job is low. But that’s the thing about emergencies. You never know when they will happen or what they will be. I’ve been in situations where someone has had a​n unexpected medical emergency and knowing that we have people trained in our facility that know how to handle them give everyone incredible peace of mind.”

“Partnering with DMACC as a place of higher education and DBR has been great. They have access to cutting-edge training, facilities, and equipment that we wouldn’t otherwise have access to. They also bring deep knowledge of all the resources available to businesses. If not for DBR, we probably wouldn’t have known about the 260E program or if we even qualified to apply."

Curious if your business could benefit from working with a DBR Business Consultant? Reach out to us at today!

Setting Clients​ up for Success: Vermeer HDD Partnership with DMACC​

As one of the leading agricultural and industrial equipment manufacturers in the country, Vermeer Corporation takes pride not only in producing high quality equipment but also providing training so the equipment can be operated at a high level. When it became clear that Vermeer needed support to make their Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) Circuit® training an accredited program, their first call was to DMACC to learn about their options.

HDD is a highly technical skill and Vermeer wanted to provide their customers with additional education opportunities – they wanted to train customers on how to locate underground obstacles and drill operation. They started working on a curriculum and in 2015 where they began to provide training to some customers. Folks were coming to Vermeer and learning – hands-on – how to drill and use the Vermeer equipment. Eventually though, it became clear that the program was growing larger than what Vermeer could internally handle. That was when DMACC stepped in.

By working with DMACC and transitioning their training program to an accredited program through DMACC, Vermeer opened a lot of doors. DMACC Business Resources and Continuing Education partnered to handle the registration, enrollment, payment, and scheduling while Vermeer could focus on training. Becoming accredited also meant that funding opportunities were available for the companies buying equipment – employees ge​tting trained could access educational funding. Accreditation also means that individuals who have been through the program are certified by DMACC and recognized for the training they have achieved. They are HDD trained and this simple thing can lead to pay increases or promotions.

HDD is still a relatively new skill that workers are learning. Because Vermeer is working with DMACC and has built an accredited program, they are helping set some of these industry standards as they go – something that those working on this training at Vermeer take incredibly seriously.

This training has remained wildly popular with sessions consistently selling out, and Vermeer doesn't see it slowing down. They have now started to look at other training opportunities they could offer their customers – something that wouldn't have been on the horizon without their partnership with DMACC.

DMACC and DBR Business Consultants Help Enrich Workers Lives​​

Tyson Fresh Meats in Perry Iowa is proud to employ individuals from several different cultural backgrounds. Additional support for the immigrant and refugee workers is provided by Tyson in order to help employees navigate working at the company. Translated materials, on-site guidance, and now, thanks to a driven employee and Tyson’s partnership with DMACC Business Resources (DBR), a series of computer literacy classes.

The employee, who had worked for Tyson for over 30 years, was getting older and working on the production line was getting harder for them. They applied for an administrative position but didn’t have the computer skills needed for the role. The employee then did what many Tyson employees do when they have an issue – they approached the workplace Chaplin, Gus Henrici. Who, as part of his role as Chaplin, listens to employees when they are facing a barrier at work and helps find a solution. In this case, the employee asked for computer training. After hearing the issue, Henrici got to work.

His first call was to DBR. He knew that with the expertise of their Business Consultants and the resources of DMACC it was a great place to start. By working with his DBR Business Consultant and DMACC's Continuing Education Department​, Henrici was able to connect with a DMACC instructor. Working together, Henrici and the DMACC instructor began developing a curriculum for an Introduction to Computers Class and by getting input from the employees asking for the training, they were able to ensure that it met everyone’s needs.

As it turned out the employee that initially asked for the training was not the only one in the workplace that had the desire to learn more about computers and technology. When announced, class quickly filled with workers eager to gain the skills offered. Computer basics were covered in the first course – how do you turn on the computer, how do you log in, how do you create a secure password, and an introduction to standard Microsoft programs.

Henrici has been so encouraged by the employees who have taken this computer class, “We’re investing in our people. They are not only gaining computer skills, but confidence. Many of them are English language learners and are often targeted for scams. They come to me, and I explain the scam and what is happening, but I’m seeing as they gain more computer skills, they can navigate these situations themselves. It gives them a whole new independence. As I see it, we are not just investing in employees, we are investing in people, their families, and futures.”

After the first computer class ended, students were not re​ady to stop learning. Henrici worked with DBR, DMACC resources, and Tyson employees to come up with a whole series of computer literacy classes. So now employees can learn how to make PowerPoint presentations, additional excel skills, personal budgeting, and more.

As for that first employee who approached Henrici about computer training, they applied for another administrative position while still taking their first computer class. However, this time they were able to put ‘learning computer skills’ on their application. This was enough for them to be hired for the position. “What once was a bit of a difficult sell to higher-ups, has now become a no-brainer. We are going to continue to offer these life-enriching classes to our employees for as long as they want them. I’m thankful to have DMACC’s support and DBR’s commitment to help make this happen.” ​

DMACC Career Academy's Learn & Earn Program is a Win-Win for Business and Students

DMACC is committed to seeing students and businesses in Iowa succeed. So, when we can support students AND businesses at the same time, we get very excited. That was the case when DMACC Business Resources, DMACC Work-Based Learning, DMACC High School Programs, and Van Maanen Electric worked together to provide a local high school student the opportunity to gain on-the-job training and experience this summer.

The Career Academy Learn & Earn is a program that gives Career Academy students an opportunity to utilize the skills they are learning in the classroom and learn firsthand about an industry. Students apply and, if selected, are matched with a local business to spend the summer working and getting paid while continuing to improve their technical and employability skills. Interested students complete an application and submit their resume for review by the Work Based Learning team. Instructors also provide input about student strengths through a referral survey.  Once accepted to the Earn & Learn program, the WBL team shares information about potential employers and gives students the opportunity to select which businesses they are interested in learning more about. From there, students meet with employers and if there is a match, complete their hiring process.

DBR Business Consultants have their finger on the pulse of what Central Iowa businesses are experiencing – what support they might need, issues that they may be facing, and how to connect them with resources both within DMACC and with other partners.

Van Maanen Electric became involved with the Learn & Earn program when their DBR Business Consultant reached out to their Human Resources department to see if they had any opportunities for students. Tammi DeJong, Van Maanen’s Human Resources Director, knew from experience that in order to ​​get people interested in the trades you needed to get high school students involved. She responded to the DBR Business Consultant eager for Van Maanen to participate.

Van Maanen was eventually matched with high school student, Libby. Libby was very excited to work and learn at Van Maanen on the technology side of the business which focuses on smaller, lower voltage, job sites.

“There are limitations when working with students who are under 18 from a safety standpoint. They are restricted from performing hazardous tasks, but there is still so much to gain by participating in the Learn & Earn program,” shared DeJong. “We have noticed declining interest in construction trades in general. We don’t just need workers, we need high-quality, skilled workers and this gives students who might just be curious a taste of what they could expect if they pursued the field.”

By participating in the Learn & Earn program Libby learned about and gained experience in an in-demand field, earned a competitive wage while working 40 hours a week, and hands-on experience which gives her an advantage when applying to future employers. Van Maanen gained a potential future high-quality employee while keeping on boarding costs low, and they were able to hear some fresh ideas from Libby – a female in the trades – perspective.

“This truly was a win-win partnership for Van Maanen and our student employee. We’re grateful to have DMACC and the support of our local DBR Business Consultant as we continue to work and grow in Iowa,” DeJong said of the program.

DMACC will continue to foster these relationships with local businesses and students to ensure the success of everyone involved. If you are interested in learning more about the DMACC Career Academy Learn & Earn program or other workforce solutions, contact DMACC Business Resources at​ or DMACC Work Based Learning at ​

Janco Industrie​​s Creates Scholars Program

​Janco Industries – a custom metal fabricator located in Sully, Iowa – realized they had a problem. They had a need for additional CNCs (Computer Numeric Controllers) and were concerned about finding an applicant with the right skill set. The Solution? The DMACC Scholars Program.

The DMACC Scholars Program allows students to work part-time at a company while also getting their certificate, diploma, or degree. The Employer can select an existing employee or intern for the program, or work with DMACC Department Chairs to find an existing student who is in the desired program area and looking for a career opportunity. The selected student(s) then enter an agreement with the company where the employer pays for the student's tuition and guarantees a job for the student after graduation and in turn, the student works part-time for the company while attending classes and agrees to work full-time at the company for a specific amount of time after graduation.

For Janco Industries, the Scholars Program process was simple. They had an intern who was already interested in the field that they had a need for, and they had the help of a DMACC Business Resources Business Consultant. By working with a DBR Business Consultant, Janco Human Resources employees were able to easily create a path for their selected intern to take without the burden of large amounts of paperwork. Their plan was custom to Janco's needs and company goals and met the requirements DMACC lays out for their Scholars Program participants. Their selected student would attend DMACC full-time and work at Janco for a minimum of 10 hours per week in the area they would eventually be working once they obtained their degree.

Finding the right candidate was key to Janco's success. Their scholar is a local employee who appreciates working in his hometown and using the skills he has learned through his schooling. That, coupled with hands-on experience at Janco, helped place him in a full-time career.

It took two years for Janco's Scholar to finish their Machining Technology degree. In those two years, Janco management worked with their Scholar's class schedule each semester to plan out when ​working hours would take place. It required flexibility and management buy-in. But at Janco, they recognized the value of investing in a young person and helping them reach their education goals. Their scholar brought a fresh perspective to the team and the energy to improve processes. And now that their Scholar has their required degree, Janco has doubled the number of employees who can perform CNC duties and increased their capacity as a company.

The DMACC Scholars Program is not only good for companies looking for creative ways to address workforce needs, but also benefits the students going through the program. The fear of needing to find a job after graduation is taken away and they can graduate with no student debt. Employers gain an experienced, skilled, and invested worker to add to their team.

With the help of a DBR consultant, the story of Janco Industries could very well be the story of any company in central Iowa. If you are curious whether the DMACC Scholars program is the right fit for your company, reach out to DMACC Business Resources today!

Des Moines Truc​k Brokers Transitions to Allen Lund Company

​When Jimmy DeMatteis was first introduced to DMACC Business Resources (DBR), he wasn’t thinking of his own future retirement or legacy, but he was thinking of the future of his business, Des Moines Truck Brokers, and of the future for his employees. “If you are a small business looking to grow, you need to be looking at the forest, not the trees,” said DeMatteis. In this case, the forest he was looking at the afternoon he decided to reach out to DBR, was the opportunity to hire more employees and train them using funds through the Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training (260E) program.

The 260E program allows qualifying businesses to access funds that help with training and development costs for employees in new positions.

“It almost seemed too good to be true, but Kelly [Mitchell, a DBR Business Consultant] walked me through the process and explained to me how this could apply to Des Moines Truck Brokers,” said DeMatteis. The team at Des Moines Truck Brokers dug in and started their first 260E project. “The 260E program made it a lot easier as a small business to be able to commit and invest in business training and growth plans, since we had the help to pay for some of the training we needed. It gave us the opportunity to stop and strategically think about the positions we really needed to help us grow in the direction we wanted to. It gave me – and the company – confidence to grow and hire new people when we needed to without hesitation.”

Des Moines Truck Brokers completed their project and now have four times the employees they had when they started. They have been able to hire and train their employees, and put them through the Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) program – a prestigious and time-consuming process for those in the logistics field.

DeMatteis values his employees and lives by the statement, “our people will always come first.” While employees completed their CTB certification, they were encouraged to hang their certificate near the main entrance of the office. The pride and celebration that came with each employee being able to hang their certificate became infectious. Now, nearly all employees have completed the CTB program.

Des Moines Truck Brokers started to receive recognition for their investment in employees. In 2017 they earned the DMACC Small Business Award for Top Growth Company. Then came an award from the Better Business Bureau, and more. This led them to start thinking about their company culture and how to become a better employer. “It opens up doors and gets prospective employees interested as well as customers. Winners want to work for and with, other winners.”

When it came time for DeMatteis to look at another forest of opportunity – one of retirement for himself, but continued growth for his company, he reached out to Allen Lund Company​, which had contacted him about working together over the years.  “When I was finally ready, I reached out [to Allen Lund] and met several times with their leadership, toured their facilities, and decided that the time was right to make this change,” explained DeMatteis. “We came to an agreement about the acquisition and transition from Des Moines Truck Brokers to Allen Lund. I stressed over and over that my people have and will always come first. Thankfully, Allen Lund understands that.”

“I wanted my employees to understand that this was not an easy decision to sell the company, that they didn’t work so hard for nothing; this decision is for them too,” said DeMatteis. “Allen Lund has opened doors and opportunities that Des Moines Truck Brokers alone couldn’t have provided. This acquisition is an extension of the growth and investment we started when I first reached out to DBR.