Exmark receives Nebraska Worker Training Program grants

exmark-logoThe state of Nebraska is investing more than $22,000 in training Exmark employees at the company’s headquarters in Beatrice. The funds were made available to the manufacturer by the state Department of Labor’s Worker Training Program (WTP).

Exmark, which manufactures commercial mowers, among other equipment, says it will use the grant funds to help offset the costs of “lean enterprise” training for members of its engineering and manufacturing teams.

The company’s general manager, Judy Altmaier, said the employee training will help Exmark meet the challenges of competing globally.

“The five ingredients of a lean journey include passion, team, culture, techniques and practice,” Altmaier said. “Thanks in part to the grant funding from the Nebraska Worker Training Program, we’re providing leaders on our team with a solid foundation of tools and techniques to practice problem solving and lead Kaizen events (or short duration improvement projects with a specific aim for improvement).

“These leaders will teach other Exmark employees to adopt lean principles in their daily work, with the goal of not just maximizing efficiency and product quality, but also strengthening company culture and developing a more engaged, satisfied workforce.”

Exmark will combine the five grants totaling $13,700 in WTP funding with its own investment of more than $114,000 to fund the training. The goal, according to the company, is to improve group dynamics and communication skills, and implement a lean manufacturing environment in the Beatrice plant.

In addition to these grants, Exmark was also awarded a grant for $5,000 for material flow training and a grant for $3,700 for “Total Predictive Maintenance” training and implementation.

Six additional Exmark employees are receiving lean enterprise training through the program. Comprised of three manufacturing engineers and three supervisors, members of the “certified team” will use their training to form employee teams that will detect and eliminate waste, while educating employees on their roles in maintaining quality and efficiency throughout the production process.

“Ultimately, the training will be successful if we can take what is learned and transfer the knowledge needed for success to every employee at Exmark,” Altmaier said. “By doing that, we empower each employee to seek better solutions, quickly solve problems and constantly look to raise the bar.”

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