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BW makes Lean Six Sigma available to new, younger audience

Olmsted Falls High School students attend Lean Six Sigma training at Baldwin Wallace University's Center for Innovation & Growth. (Courtesy: Olmsted Falls City Schools)There is something different about the enterprising group of students gathered at Baldwin Wallace University for a special series of quality management classes this winter.

They are all high school students seeking Yellow Belt certification in Lean Six Sigma, an established professional credential that signals the know-how and commitment to work smart using methods that maximize organizational resources.

A new partnership between the BW Professional Development and the Olmsted Falls City Schools is enabling 16 of the district's high schoolers to seek a Six Sigma Yellow Belt, designed to be foundational certification in the efficiency techniques.

Empowered students

Olmsted Falls High School students attend Lean Six Sigma training at Baldwin Wallace University's Center for Innovation & Growth. (Courtesy: Olmsted Falls City Schools)The goal, according to Connie King, director of BW professional development, is to empower students with "real-world, in-demand skills that help build leaders out of learners, enhance student engagement and lead to multiple career paths."

After reaping the organizational savings and benefits from sending staff members to learn Six Sigma processes, the Olmsted Falls district reached out to partner with BW to provide the training for students on site at the BW Center for Innovation and Growth starting in January.

Superintendent Jim Lloyd told cleveland.com, "Our district vision is to inspire and empower kids so they can contribute to society in the future. This is an advanced learning opportunity for college and career readiness. Generally, this is an adult credential, but they're just going to get it in high school."

Benefit to employers

King notes that the expanded training will benefit area employers, too.

"By providing high school students with differentiating skill sets, we can assist both the students and companies who are struggling to find employees. The students will work on process improvement projects along the way and report out to company personnel on the last day of the program," King explains.

"Our hope is those on a career path may get hired, and those on a degree path learn valuable skills for studying, college life and internships."

King says companies that hire students might also partner with BW to continue the student's education while they work.

After this pilot program, King adds that BW Professional Development has the potential to add other offerings for younger students in the future, including project management and IT courses.

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