IPI Holds All Staff Training Conference

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Over the past fifteen months, IPI has been working hard to introduce tools of continuous improvement and Lean across the entire operations in the State. We have recognized that by applying these CI and Lean tools, we will make everyone’s job safer and more efficient, teach and develop new skills for everyone working at IPI, and in the process, become a better supplier for our customers. On November 16, 2016, we held a Training Conference at the Lawrence Community Center in Anamosa, Iowa, for all of our staff across the state. Our objectives were to review our accomplishments over the past fifteen months, learn about what is next to come, and to hear from some of the people we partner with on how their journey with Lean and continuous improvement can help us continue on our path to get a little better every day. Not only were all of our staff in attendance, but we also had guests from many departments from state government such as the Department of Transportation, Department of Administrative Services, Department of Management, and the Iowa Veterans' Home. In addition, we also welcomed six attendees from Nebraska's Cornhusker State Industries as well!

IPI staff kicked off the day. First, Director Dan Clark shared the message of why we needed to develop the Prison Industries Manufacturing System (PIMS), and how it will continue to help us improve and achieve our goals. Next, I provided an overview of how important standard work is to build a solid foundation and how developing documented standard work will be the focus to move us forward in the next steps of our Lean journey.

The conference then moved on to our guest speakers. John Magnussen, a CI Manager from Pella Corporation who has partnered with us through the Iowa Lean Consortium (ILC) and assisted with sharing ideas and tools Pella uses, talked about how important the role of frontline leaders and middle managers is in developing any lean manufacturing system. Next to share the message of how Lean is a Journey was another partner met through the ILC, Tate Hamann from Rockwell Collins. Tate currently leads the CI teams at the Coralville Manufacturing site and shared how Rockwell has used a specific approach and method to implementing Lean and CI strategies throughout their organization over many years. Our lunch was catered in from Pizza Ranch, and we were fortunate to also have their CI Director, Scott Post, deliver not only a delicious lunch, but also some food for thought in sharing how Pizza Ranch has developed their Lean program in a fast paced, high turnover environment.

One of our Keynote speakers we were fortunate to have present was Kyle Horn. Kyle is the Founder and Director of America's Job Honor Awards. America's Job Honor Awards program works to match skilled people seeking employment, often just released from one of our facilities, with good job opportunities. Kyle’s message was very relevant to the efforts we are putting into our PIMS philosophy and the furthering of our lean journey through the use of CI and Lean tools and how those skills are highly sought after in today’s job markets.

We were also honored to have our Lt. Governor for the State of Iowa, Kim Reynolds speak. Her message about how our shops and specifically the apprentice programs we offer are vitally important in reducing the recidivism rate for the state. It was great for all of our staff to receive recognition from her for the work they do to promote a safer place for all of Iowa’s citizens.

The conference also had a fun group activity that demonstrated the benefits of teamwork, and we were able to have an open panel discussion for questions and answers that included all of our guest speakers as panelists with an additional guest from Rockwell Collins, Jules Stull. Jules has helped us with other CI efforts in our Anamosa housekeeping shop over the past year.

The day closed with a thank-you message from Dan Clark and the encouragement message that Lean is a journey. PIMS is how we plan to do our work going forward so we can continue to get better and teach and develop skills for everyone as we drive forward on our path of Continuous Improvement.

We would like to thank all of those that have helped IPI over this past year as we started on our CI journey, and look forward to another great year of continuous improvement and sharing ideas and best practices with friends across the state both in other governmental agencies and with our ILC friends in private sector organizations!

More photo highlights can be found in IPI's November newsletter.

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