Q&A with Rod Jones

Chief Learning Officer at DMSU DMG / MORI SEIKI University


What is your background?

I started in the machine tool industry when I was 17 years old in a machine shop in the Detroit area learning how to create tooling, machine parts and build machine tools. Later, I completed a degree in mechanical engineering and a masters in applied psychology. My career included working for General Electric, DeVlieg Machine Company and my own business, Decision Technology – a business strategy, market research and training consulting firm. I also spent 10 years with a non-profit educational entity creating and teaching life skills. The opportunity to work for Mori Seiki creating a world class corporate university was an opportunity I could not pass up. In 2007 I became the Chief Learning Officer of what is now DMG / Mori Seiki University.

How is DMG / Mori Seiki University different in training?

Most machine tool manufacturers, if they have a formal training program, only address the machine tool. We broadened our vision to a corporate university. This means that we address all the learning needs of our employees, distributors, customers, suppliers and select colleges. We offer instruction that ranges from leadership, safety, HR compliance, personal productivity and manufacturing skills in addition to machine tool operation, programming and maintenance. Our employees and distributors have access to over 800 classroom and online courses. Customers have access to over 200 of these courses.

Is there a plan to offer college credit?

Currently, our focus is on workforce development while colleges focus on certificate and degree (credit) programs. Both have their role in manufacturing education. For one student attending a two-year technical degree program, it may cost $6,000 to $8,000 per year. In a workforce development scenario we can educate a shop of almost 50 employees for 12 months with high-quality, interactive online manufacturing skills for the same amount. It all depends on the company’s educational goals. Typically, a company will not send all their workers through a two-year degree, but may target key performers or future leaders.

What is the difference between the learning style with DMSU and other programs?

Educators understand that people have different learning styles. Most models include 6 or 8 such styles. However, the two dominant styles are:  1) Textual-based learners and 2) Kinetic-based learners. For example, most high schools focus on Textual learning. If you can sit in the class, listen, and read you’ll get along fine. Unfortunately, a lot of people are not good at textual learning – especially young boys who can become disenfranchised because they tend to be kinetic learners – using their eyes and hands to learn. Many become labeled as “not college bound” or problematic because they are disruptive or low achievers in textual-based setting. They need hands-on projects. Our model at DMSU is based on hands-on, Kinetic learning. Students are turning the wrenches, using instruments and operating the machines while the instructor facilitates.

What is the average cost for these classes?

Our instructor-led classes, held at our training facility, are generally 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of a typical industrial training class. It is a first class experience that includes access to over $5,000,000 of state-of-the art CNC machines, simulators and tools. The online classes are available in a variety of content styles: EOD (Education on Demand) are courses specific to DMG and Mori Seiki machine models. They teach operation and programming. A customer receives two free seats (courses) with the purchase of every new machine good for 6 months 24/7 access. Additional seats can be purchased for $99 per seat good for 6 months. AME21 (Advanced Manufacturing Education for the 21st century) are general manufacturing skill courses – usable in any shop. There are 103 courses (500 online hours of content). BOD (Business on Demand) are general business skill courses – usable in any shop that includes 95 courses.

Is there a way our readers can see this for themselves?

The AME21 Online and BOD courses can be viewed by asking for a free one-week demo access. With this highly-interactive courseware, you have got to try it yourself to understand the power and simplicity of kinetic learning.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

We have an Educational Partnership Program for technical colleges. Basically, it gives them access to the EOD online course library. Students can learn to operate up to a 12-axis CNC machine. This is available for a $50 lab fee per student per semester and they have access to 40 courses.

MORE INFORMATION: Email rjones@dmgmoriseikiusa.com; call 847-387-1290 or visit www.dmgmsuondemand.com.