LAURINBURG — Nine employees from Rostra Precision Controls, Inc. in Laurinburg received national certification in industry savings through Richmond Community College’s customized training program.
RCC President Dr. Dale McInnis presented the employees their certificates during a ceremony at the plant. The recipients were Dawn Wright, Brandon Jones, Sheldon McDougald, Scott Kirkendall, Ed Atkinson, Jacob Robinson, Matthew Charter, Raymond Dean and Ron DesGroseilliers.
“Very few people who start this program actually complete all the parts required to obtain a national certification,” McInnis said. “You should all be very proud of yourselves.”
The certification program, known as Six Sigma, is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement. It was developed by Motorola in 1986, and later became the central business strategy at General Electric in 1995. It is now used in many industrial sectors.
Following the certificate presentations, McInnis met with the group to discuss what they’d learned from the training and questioned whether they were already seeing benefits from implementation. Another company that had previously completed the training reported a savings of more than $740,000 in operational costs.
“The training definitely taught us the importance of collecting data and showed us how to evaluate that data and put it to use,” said Dawn Wright, Rostra’s plant manager.
The other Rostra employees agreed tackling problems based on data as opposed to assumptions would lead to a savings in time, as well as cost.
“The training definitely raised our awareness of where we had waste and will increase our efficiency,” said Ed Atkinson, Rostra’s quality manager.
Jim Pineau, Rostra’s CEO said, “We are thankful to have developed such a rewarding relationship with RichmondCC. The expertise and training that they have brought to our employees will help keep our operations competitive well into the future.”
Six Sigma seeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects (errors) and minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes. It uses a set of quality management methods, including statistical methods, and creates a special infrastructure of people within the organization (“Champions,” “Black Belts,” “Green Belts,” “Yellow Belts,” etc.) who are experts in these methods.
The Rostra employees were receiving their Green Belt certification and have already scheduled additional training through RichmondCC.
“Working with our local industries to provide them with professional advantages is something we take pride in at Richmond Community College,” said McInnis.
For more information about customized training at RCC, contact Lee Eller at 910-410-1688.
Leighton Bell is assistant director of K-12 partnerships at Richmond Community College.