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Toying Around with Manufacturing Processes

Developing leaders and problem solvers. That is at the core of Ball State’s new minor in process improvement. The program is focused on Six Sigma Black Belt training—one of the most popular credentials in business today—cocreated by alumnus Mikel J. Harry.

To complete the minor and earn Black Belt certification, students take courses on campus and then take part a commercial project. In summer 2009, four students will travel to China and partner with professionals from Early Light, the world’s largest toy maker and manufacturer of products for Lego, Tonka, and Hot Wheels, to accomplish the final step in their certification.

The students and professionals will work jointly on the commercial project, creating efficiencies in product design, injection molding, and packaging, and both will become Six Sigma Black Belt certified upon completion.

“Ball State is educating students for Six Sigma years earlier than in the corporate world,” says Alan Leduc, associate professor of technology, “providing firms with eager young professionals armed with a Black Belt and an impressive portfolio based on their hands-on application of Six Sigma.”