News: War fighters, students gain corporate level business education
Story by Cpl. Michael Iams
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — Wounded Warrior Battalion-West hosted a Marine Corps Continuous Process Improvement Green Belt Class at the wounded warrior compound on Camp Pendleton, June 1.
The five-day class focused on leading small events to improve internal processes by learning and practicing quality tools through simulations.
“Some of the tools we teach are identifying the problem and goal of a project and using a value stream map to identify the process from start to end,” said Kimberly Reath, a CPI black belt instructor with Headquarters Marine Corps Plans and Resources. “The students work as a team to find solutions to setbacks in a project such as reducing something that would normally take two weeks to complete and improving the process to have it completed in two days.”
The class helps students learn to be more efficient in the workplace and teaches methods to improve workflow.
“This class is a condensed version of corporate business classes,” said Vanessa Donaldson, the community events manager and donor development for the Semper Fi Fund. “It helps with professional development and improves us individually by teaching us how to reduce waste and cut costs to be more efficient.”
During the green belt class, the students learn three methodologies called lean thinking, six sigma and theory of constraints.
“This class teaches us how to identify the waste, defects and bottlenecks in a process and reduce, eliminate or improve them to make the process more efficient,” said Donaldson. “Finding this data and improving work, production and flow helps reduce cost and save money.”
The class is open to all active duty Marines and civilians currently employed in the Marine Corps.
“Along with the green belt class, which teaches student how to facilitate a project team, coaches students on being team members of a project and a black belt class that spans four weeks over four months,” said Reath. “During the black belt class, the students work on a project that is more complex with four weeks of class time over four months time.” After taking the class, many of students possessed a different outlook on how to conduct business.
“This is a great class to find out how we do business by finding problems and solutions to those problems,” said Staff Sgt. Jauntianne Saleigh, the career and educations staff non-commissioned officer in charge with Wounded Warrior Battalion-West. “This has taken me from a personally driven perspective on business to a more data driven outlook.”
It’s a privilege to be able to teach, work with and improve the war fighters and empower them to find a better way to improve something by thinking outside the box, said Reath.
“I feel blessed to be able to have the opportunity to tag along and learn these methods to help save money for my company,” said Donaldson.