SANFORD — Training is underway at Central Carolina Community College to help businesses and industries in North Carolina produce better products more efficiently.
The college’s Industry Services Office, N.C. State University’s College of Textiles, and the N.C. Community College System’s Customized Training Program are collaborating on a Lean Six Sigma Train the Trainer program at CCCC to benefit business and industry throughout the state.
“Improving quality and efficiency gives North Carolina business and industry a competitive edge in the global economy,” said Central Carolina President Bud Marchant. “The college has always worked closely with local business and industry and we are excited that it was selected to provide the Train the Trainer program.”
Lean Six Sigma is a workplace and management analysis and improvement process. LSS-certified trainers go into a company and analyze its production processes, resource allocations, and time management. The goal of LSS is to improve quality and efficiency in business and industry in order to advance workforce and economic development in North Carolina.
The term “Six Sigma” refers to manufacturing processes that have very low defect levels. Six Sigma training was developed by Motorola. The College of Textiles combined that training with principles of lean, efficient manufacturing to create Lean Six Sigma. The training program has been standardized so participants at any of the community colleges statewide will receive the same training.
“The training has been very good,” said T.J. Haney, director of Customized Training at Craven Community College, who took part in one of the weeklong sessions at CCCC. “It was smart for the state of North Carolina to develop a standard for training across the state.”
Community college faculty and staff from around the state are involved in the Lean Six Sigma Train the Trainer program at CCCC. Once certified as trainers, they will work through their local community colleges to share their LSS expertise with their area businesses and industries.
“Lean Six Sigma is a way to help companies trim costs and deliver better services and a consistent product,” said Marissa Langford, associate director of the College of Textiles Extension Education and Quality Programs. “A lot of community colleges don’t have LSS trainers. That is why we are offering Train the Trainer.”
Langford is the instructor for the Lean Six Sigma Train the Trainer program now underway at Central Carolina Community College. Certification is received through the College of Textiles and several certification levels are offered. They are named after skill levels in karate: Green Belt, Black Belt and Master Black Belt, depending on the level of training obtained.
Each of the state’s Economic Development Regions (Charlotte, East, Northeast, Piedmont/Triangle, Southeast, and Western) is sending three community college employees to Central Carolina C.C. for a weeklong LSS Train the Trainer program. The training runs one week per month for six months, from November through April, at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center.
Several business people are also taking the training as designated trainers for community colleges. Among them are Bob Jones, of Solomon EOS, and Kendall Crawford, a manufacturing consultant, both of Sanford.
“In times like this, it is critical to be as lean and efficient as you can,” Crawford said. “This training is a great opportunity to expand our skill sets and put these to work helping industry retain business or expand.”
In the college’s service area of Lee, Harnett and Chatham counties, Cathy Swindell will contact companies to set up the training and Jones and Crawford will provide it through Continuing Education or other programs. She has worked with new and expanding industries and businesses in the area since 1997, helping them meet their workforce training and workplace planning needs.
“Lean Six Sigma certification training is intensive and has been expensive,” Swindell said. “Having certified trainers at community colleges makes it accessible and affordable.”
For more information about Lean Six Sigma training, contact Swindell at (919) 718-7212.