IPI Staff Meeting Recap

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On November 1, Iowa Prison Industries staff from across the state traveled to Anamosa, Iowa for the 2017 All Staff Training Conference. The day was dedicated to development, team building, efficiency systems and several training presentations.

2017 All All Staff Conference

IPI Director, Daniel Clark welcomed everyone to the conference with a presentation entitled “Look What You Made Me Do” as a humorous reference to a popular Taylor Swift hit song. During the opening presentation, Clark reminded the staff how their daily work efforts are making Iowa a better, safer place.

In the morning, specialists from other government organizations were invited to speak. Michelle Wilson has been a DNR Lean Facilitator since 2007. Her presentation on “Identifying Opportunities for Improvement Using SIPOC Analysis” related to the analysis IPI staff members perform in their shops. Dean Howard is a Corporate Quality Manager for UNICOR, the correctional industries program of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He presented “Quality is when customers come back, but the product doesn’t.”

IPI staff members James Van Langen, Seth Essing, Tammy Luchtenburg and Lennie Miller each discussed the implementation of IPI manufacturing systems in their own shops. The all opened the floor for Q&A after each presentation.

IPI Marshmallow Challenge

The morning also included a team building exercise called “The Marshmallow Challenge” in which each team attempted to construct the tallest structure with a yard of tape, a yard of string, 20 pieces of spaghetti and a marshmallow. The purpose of the marshmallow challenge (other than being a fun break and teambuilding activity) was to encourage staff to identify a task and to solve it with critical thinking, trial and error.

Lunch was catered by Fareway Stores. Store manager, Bryan Bucheit spoke during lunch about what makes Fareway special and why it is one of the top grocery chains in the nation. After lunch, 10 IPI staff members participated in a few rounds of Family Feud. Questions related to IPI operations.IPI Family Feud

Toward the end of the day, Mike Duncan, Training Specialist One and CERT Commander for the Anamosa State Penitentiary, lead an important session about safety in IPI shops. He encouraged all IPI staff to realize they are all working in a somewhat dangerous environment and to always think proactively.

Lean Training Specialist, Steve Forbes, organized most of the day. He planned the speaker schedule and made sure everything stayed on track with the schedule. He provided a recap of the day before introducing Becky Bessine to the podium to speak.

Bessine is IPI-Fort Madison's Associate Warden but is retiring soon. She gave a speech titled “Reflections on My Career at IPI.” She been employed at IPI for 31 years. All of the staff appreciates the good things she has done for the company and wishes her the very best in the future!

Overall, the 2017 Annual Training Conference was a very productive day filled with informative presentations, a few fun activities and lots of laughs.

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