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CCCC picked as Lean Six Sigma training center

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Click to enlarge,  Cathy Swindell, director of the college’s Industry Services Office

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Cathy Swindell, director of the college’s Industry Services Office

10.09.2009Admin, Faculty & StaffCollege & CommunityCollege General

SANFORD — Central Carolina Community College has been selected to offer Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Train the Trainer Certification Training by the North Carolina Community College System and N.C. State University’s College of Textiles. 

The NCCCS and the College of Textiles developed a standardized curriculum for the Lean Six Sigma Certification Program and asked Central Carolina C.C. to be the instructional site. It is the only community college in North Carolina that will be offering the Train the Trainer Program.

Lean Six Sigma is a workplace and management analysis and improvement process in which LSS-certified trainers go into a company or industry and analyze its processes, resource allocations, and time management. The goal is to improve quality and efficiency in business and manufacturing statewide to advance workforce and economic development. 

According to Maureen Little, NCCCS Associate Vice President over Customized Training, the Train the Trainer program will ensure that there are certified instructors to provide high-quality, consistent Lean Six Sigma curriculum and training methodology across the state. 

Dan Grimsley, NCCCS Continuous Improvement Regional Trainer, said that Central Carolina Community College was chosen as the training site for two reasons: its centralized location and Cathy Swindell, director of the college’s Industry Services Office. 

“This program will take a lot of coordination and Cathy is both flexible and knowledgeable,” Grimsley said.

Swindell will oversee the Train the Trainer Program. Since 1997, she has worked with new and expanding industries and businesses in the college’s service area of Lee, Harnett and Chatham counties, helping them meet their workforce training and workplace planning needs. 

The Train the Trainer program will increase the ability of community colleges across the state to respond even more effectively to business and industry needs. It will run one week per month for six months, from November through April, at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center. It will offer several certification levels, named after skill levels in karate: Green Belt, Black Belt and Master Black Belt. 

Each of the state’s Economic Development Regions (Charlotte, East, Northeast, Piedmont/Triangle, Southeast, and Western) will send three community college employees to Central Carolina C.C. for the weeklong LSS Train the Trainer Program. Those selected are to have good analytical and math skills, presentation/teaching skills and manufacturing experience.

Participants can become certified to teach others at the community colleges in their regions to become Lean Six Sigma trainers. Once community college LSS trainers are certified, they will work with businesses and industries in their regions to improve their workplaces and production quality. 

“Lean Six Sigma is a continuous workplace improvement tool,” Swindell said. “The certification training is intensive and also has been expensive. Training community colleges trainers to offer trainer certification makes it accessible and affordable for companies.”

Six Sigma, developed by Motorola, is named for an expression from the field of statistics. Manufacturing processes that have very low defect levels are referred to “six sigma quality.” Combining Six Sigma with principles of lean, efficient manufacturing created Lean Six Sigma. 

“We are pleased that Central Carolina Community College has been selected for this important challenge of training Lean Six Sigma trainers for the whole community college system,” said college president Dr. Bud Marchant. “Central Carolina C.C. has always worked in close partnership with business and industry. Bringing Lean Six Sigma principles into the workplace means improved quality and efficiency, providing a competitive edge to North Carolina companies and industries in the highly competitive global economy.”