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City of Sterling Heights and Macomb Community College pioneer Lean Six Sigma Municipal Training Program to expand world-class service to residents

– Friday, August 16, 2019 3:00PM

Over the past 10 months, Sterling Heights City leadership has formulated a comprehensive education plan for employees that empowers them to optimize the programs and services they are entrusted to provide and promote a culture of continuous improvement through employee involvement and engagement. As a part of this plan, the City will kick off a groundbreaking Lean Six Sigma municipal training program, in partnership with Macomb Community College, at a press conference on Friday, Aug. 16.

Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is a method used to streamline processes by eliminating waste while efficiently solving problems.  It relies on a collaborative team effort and helps eliminate waste in eight categories including defects, overproduction, waiting, non-utilized talents, transportation, inventory, motion and extra processing. These categories can be applied to all areas of business operations in both the private and public sectors including governmental operations.

“While Lean Six Sigma has its roots in manufacturing, we’re excited to translate important LSS elements to the delivery of city services,” said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor. “An emphasis on customer satisfaction, a culture of continuous improvement, the search for root causes and comprehensive employee involvement are all features of LSS that can help us continue to provide world-class services to our residents and businesses.”

“We are excited to partner with the City of Sterling Heights and bring the powerful methodology of Lean Six Sigma to their longstanding focus of delivering the highest quality services efficiently to the individuals and business who call the city home,” said James O. Sawyer IV, president, Macomb Community College. ”Our work together will help create a model that has the potential to benefit other municipalities and residents in our community.”

Forty employees will have an opportunity to train and work with an expert in Lean Six Sigma principles at Macomb Community College to gain knowledge of the methodologies and will be able to implement those practices in their daily work processes. Through this program employees will also have an opportunity to be formally accredited with a Lean Six Sigma certification and CEU’s through the professional accreditation body, American Society for Quality. As a capstone to the program, each participating employee will be required to use a practical application of the skills they learned to improve a process they work with every day.

City employees who participate can receive training in the White Belt certification level and/or Green Belt certification level. All forty employees will go through the one-day White Belt training where they will learn the fundamentals of LSS from a Lean expert. Of those forty employees, twenty will proceed with the remainder of the Green Belt training program after which they will be able to start and manage internal projects using LSS methodologies, will be considered an LSS expert, and will be able to provide training to others in the organization. Employees who take the Green Belt path will receive a Certificate of Completion from Macomb Community College and will be required to test through a professional accreditation body to be formally accredited as a Green Belt.

Media contact: Sean M. Patrick, 586.445.7271,