Next Up: Lean Practitioner
When Billy Whorley interviewed at Church & Dwight and learned the company was willing to make an investment in his education, he was sold on the job. Soon after starting, Billy earned Lean Practitioner certification through Church & Dwight’s partnership with the Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA). A year later, he’s earned two additional certifications and enrolled in Brightpoint’s industrial electricity CSC to keep advancing his career.
When Billy Whorley interviewed for a maintenance technician position at Church & Dwight and learned the manufacturing company was willing to make an investment in his education, he was sold on the job.
Soon after starting, Billy learned to diagnose and fix inefficiencies at the manufacturing plant, earning Lean Practitioner certification through Church & Dwight’s partnership with Brightpoint ‘s workforce division, the Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA). A year later, he’s earned two additional certifications, joined a workforce committee at Church & Dwight to further improve company processes and enrolled in Brightpoint’s industrial electricity CSC to keep advancing his career.
Here’s how he accelerated to the next level:
Apply new skills immediately.
Billy, who began his 17-year maintenance career with on-the-job training, viewed his new job as a way to broaden his education and get ahead at work.
His first course at CCWA, Lean Practitioner, focused on 5S or the five important steps to organize work and run processes more efficiently. While the company was already working to institute new practices as a cost- and energy-saving measure, now “the entire plant is moving to a more Lean 5S focus,” Billy said.
After coupling his Lean Practitioner certification with Manufacturing Technician I certification, Billy had the credentials to join Church & Dwight’s continuous-improvement committee. Early on, he said, “We had a product mix with one of our lubricants, and it was very costly. We had to scrap a whole 55-gallon barrel. That’s a big deal.
Billy led the charge to build a new stand to catch any product left over from the pumps that could contaminate the lubricants. "Now the way we arrange and store the pumps has drastically changed,” Billy said. “I like the sense of accomplishment, the endorphin release I get from finding the problem and fixing it."
Bring class to work.
This semester, CCWA is delivering a World-Class Manufacturing class at Church & Dwight for Billy and five other employees. For their final project, each student identifies a problem that can affect the company’s bottom line, designs a plan to fix it, then implements the plan.
"The course is very much focused on how to do Lean and Kaizen events,” Billy said, referring to approaches that improve business processes and eliminate waste. “We’ll actually assign monetary value to the plans that we put in place to track how they’re making the plant better overall."
For his project, Billy will investigate why one of the machines in his work area has declined in product production.
"Lower efficiency means we’re not getting as much product out the door,” Billy said. “We’ll look into the cause of the efficiency dip and possible solutions for it."
“My first day there, I was very nervous because I’m a GED graduate. So it was my first foray back into education for quite some time. The layout of campus and the fact that everybody was friendly make it a whole lot easier to get settled.”
Leverage your learning for life.
Billy keeps a running list of courses he wants to take next — machining and mechatronics, to name a few. “Brightpoint has set the bar on what I expect to learn,” he said. "Church & Dwight has been the impetus for me to expand my education completely,” Billy said. “Now that I’ve started, I don’t plan to stop."
He's even considering what courses will enrich his later life. "Brightpoint offers courses that not only benefit me in my work, but there are things I'd like to do as a hobby, such as setting up my own metal fab. shop in the backyard after I retire."
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