Manufacturing partnership enhancing student career development

ZANESVILLE – Twelve Zanesville High School juniors earned their Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification while learning the Lean Six Sigma methodology under the facilitation of Master Black Belt Brad Hollingsworth.

One team of students share proposed solutions to a problem with their peers and teachers during their Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification training.
One team of students share proposed solutions to a problem with their peers and teachers during their Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification training.

The training was made possible thanks to funding from the Ohio State University Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). The workforce development initiative strives to train the potential future workforce of manufacturers. The credentialing is in alignment with the State of Ohio’s Each Child, Our Future strategic plan, where students who earn industry-recognized credentials are poised to enter the workplace or to go on to two-year or four-year colleges.

Lean Six Sigma is a recognized industry standard, a structured team-based problem-solving approach to improve quality and productivity with a focus on the voice of the customer. Team members with the certification are recruited by organizations, business or industry with a philosophy of continuous improvement and outstanding customer focus. With three levels of certification, participants learn to be effective team members, project leaders or trainers.

The Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification indicates an individual is an effective problem-solving team member. The Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification indicates a participant is an effective problem-solving team leader. People who earn this certification have effectively led a team to solve a problem that yields measurable improvement.

Zanesville City Schools educators and administrators Tom Crowley, Wendy Curtis, Elisse Greenleaf and Nate Seekatz also completed their Yellow Belt certification. Those who went on to participate in the Green Belt certification include Eric Baldwin, Michelle Neal and Mike Schreiber. In addition to the Yellow and Green Belt certifications; Doug Baker, Stacie Deavers, Deb Gingerich, Andrea Minnich, Maureen Montgomery, Lisa Kester, Tashia Woerner, and Garrett Young completed the train-the-trainer session.

As the Green Belt participants lead a process improvement project and complete the train-the-trainer session, they are then certified to incorporate the Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt training into their class curriculum for their students. They can also teach and coach students who wish to earn the Green Belt certification when mentored by a Master Black Belt.

Doug Baker, Zanesville City Schools superintendent, participated in the yellow and green belt certifications to see firsthand what the students gain by adding the Lean Six Sigma training to the curriculum.

“Many times, we recommend students work as a team to resolve a dilemma or problem,” Baker said. “The Lean Six Sigma training provides students with the knowledge and skills to know how to work together as a team.”

In addition, Baker said, “This training planted the seed of continuous improvement when it comes to problem solving. This knowledge and skill set will serve our students well into their futures.”

“The students at Zanesville City Schools are fortunate to have their faculty and administration and the Ohio State University MEP provide this certification,” Hollingworth said. “The training provides opportunity for the students to contribute to value-added process improvement projects at their schools and in their future careers.”

He went on to say the educators and administrators completed projects that provide them with real world experience to understand the tools that makes Lean Six Sigma effective as they facilitate their students’ learning.

Baker echoed Hollingsworth’s appreciation to the MEP for providing funding to make the student certifications possible saying, “MEP’s support allowed us to pilot and incorporate Lean Six Sigma training for our students to better position them to become contributors in the ever-changing world economy.”

Submitted by Zanesville City Schools.

This article originally appeared on Zanesville Times Recorder: Manufacturing partnership enhancing student career development