ISI Employees Recognized for Yellow, Blue, Green, and Black Belt Continuous Improvement Certifications

Irving Shipbuilding continues to invest in employee development and the growth of Canada’s shipbuilding skills under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

18 Irving Shipbuilding (ISI) employees were recently recognized as the latest to achieve their Yellow Belt, Blue Belt, Green Belt, and Black Belt certification under the Lean Six Sigma program. Nine received Yellow Belt certifications, four received Green Belt certifications, one received their Blue Belt Certification, and two received Black Belt Certifications.

Lean Six Sigma is a continuous improvement methodology to improve processes by identifying and removing non-value adding activities and procedures. The goal of Lean is to use data and mind tools that focus on defect prevention earlier in the process instead of defect identification later in the process.

"Lean Six Sigma is a world class method that relies on a collaborative team to improve performance. It is about working together to reduce waste and reduce variation in quality, schedule, and cost. We see this program as an important investment in our employee’s development and our shipyard success. This internationally recognized certification is good for the team and good for the business. It is part of our ongoing commitment to use the best practices in building the best Ships for Canada.” – Jim Rennie, Vice President, Human Resources

Dave Pederson

Dave Pederson is an Outfitting Technologist on the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) project. Dave received his Green Belt for his Vendor Furnished Information (VFI) Receipt and Review project.

Dave Pederson (Left) with Kevin Mooney (Right), President of Irving Shipbuilding

“The Irving Continuous Improvement Six Sigma Green Belt course provides education and development in leadership and soft skills, like Leading Change, over and above the core Green Belt skillsets; something that a lot of other Six Sigma courses do not provide.” Says Pederson. “With the challenges unique to my project, it was really these additional skillsets that led to my success, and I am better prepared having gone through the Irving program.”

Ashley Brace

Ashley Brace is a Junior Engineer focusing on the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship program. Ashley received her Yellow Belt for her Labelling Process for the AOPS project.

Ashley Brace (Left) with Kevin Mooney (Right), President of Irving Shipbuilding

“Having the opportunity to complete my Yellow Belt Training has been both an eye opening and rewarding experience. I believe that finding ways to continuously improve the business is something that we should all be striving towards, and it was great to be given the tools and support to complete my Yellow Belt Project and implement real improvements to ISI’s AOPS Labelling Process.”

Graham Kenney

Graham Kenney is a Production Supervisor. Graham received his Green Belt for his work on a mechanized welding project.

“Completing my Green Belt afforded me the opportunity to learn a structured approach to implementing an operational improvement project,” says Kenney.

Graham Kenney (Left) with Kevin Mooney (Right), President of Irving Shipbuilding

“One of the best things about the Production group is their willingness to try new ideas and adopt better ways of doing things. The senior leadership support I received provided insight and removed many barriers by championing this cause. I am excited to see this mechanized welding continue to expand within the business. I hope to take the lessons learned from this project on to my next challenge.”

Courtney Colbourne

Courtney Colbourne is a Manager in Material Planning. Courtney received her Black Belt for her work in Material Planning.

“Achieving a Black Belt was a long-term goal of mine, and with the support of ISI this was something I accomplished in 2021!” says Colbourne.

Courtney Colbourne (Left) with Kevin Mooney (Right), President of Irving Shipbuilding

“I was very fortunate enough to be able to complete the training through JDI Continuous Improvement and we were the first class to complete Black Belt virtually. Lean Six Sigma in any business is more important now than ever before. Creating a culture that is imbedded with these methodologies, utilizing the different lean six sigma tools, and capturing the hearts and minds of people can only have a positive impact. Lean Six Sigma creates a culture of innovative problem solvers, who can help businesses reduce waste, cut cost, and increase productivity. ISI is on track to foster this culture of continuous improvement through different projects and training programs!”

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