By Staff Sgt. Zane Craig
| Aug. 10, 2019
Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard and various commonwealth agencies received college credit Aug. 9 at Fort Indiantown Gap for the Lean Six Sigma class offered by the Guard in a partnership with Penn State Schuylkill. Retired Maj. Gen. Eric Weller (center) spoke at the graduation ceremony and presented certificates to members of the Harrisburg Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) staff. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Zane Craig) (Photo by Staff Sgt. Zane Craig)
FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard and various commonwealth agencies received college credit Aug. 9 here for the Lean Six Sigma class offered by the Guard in a partnership with Penn State Schuylkill.
Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is a synergized managerial concept of Lean and Six Sigma. Lean traditionally focuses on the elimination of the eight kinds of waste, classified as: defects, over-production, waiting, non-utilized talent, transportation, inventory, motion, and extra-processing. Six Sigma seeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects and minimizing variability in processes.
"The development of military leaders is a key part of our land-grant mission," said Penn State Schuylkill Chancellor Patrick Jones, who is a retired Pennsylvania Air National Guard officer. "We are honored to partner with the National Guard to offer this program. Its graduates will be prepared to better lead our citizen-Airmen and Soldiers."
The Pa. Guard offers the LSS class about four times per year, but this is the first iteration of graduates to concurrently earn college credit as part of PSU Schuylkill’s continuing education community outreach program.
“I think the availability of this credit will make it easier for supervisors and leaders at all levels, who may not have been exposed to LSS to through private employment or civilian education, to be able to let their Guardsmen out of work to come here or to allow some of our younger troops who are seeking college or continuing education to come if they have an interest,” said Air Force Maj. Kathleen Fabrizi, director of continuous process improvement for the Pa. National Guard.
“It also provides more value to Guardsmen who are already in the civilian workforce or attending school full-time to get this training that will benefit their organization and their civilian career progression,” she added.
Fabrizi is a Certified Lean Six Sigma master black belt and teaches the LSS classes here. She also teaches ethics and supply chain management at Penn State Schuylkill in Schuylkill Haven, Pa, which is how the university was able to offer credit.
“This class is by far one of the top military classes I’ve attended in my career, and not just because of the additional skill identifier or the civilian certification worth thousands of dollars, but because it teaches a standard plan of attack for any process at any organization,” said Capt. Timothy Courson, 55th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade medical operations officer and currently on orders as the Harrisburg Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) executive officer.
Fabrizi said she is grateful for the supervisors who allow their employees the time to complete the 40-hour class and is confident that the skills they learn will enable the Pennsylvania National Guard to make the most of our resources to better serve the public.