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For Immediate Release


Contact: Randy Schwartz, 328-5471

            [email protected]



Dakota Manufacturing Extension Partnership Delivery Team Receives the MEP Practitioner of the Year Award


BISMARCK, ND — Dakota Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s (Dakota MEP) Delivery Team of Terry Cox, Dan Halverson and Mark Volesky was awarded the MEP Practitioner of the Year Award during the National MEP Conference in Orlando, FL on April 24, 2007.


The MEP Practitioner of the Year Award is for individuals whose specialized contributions have made a significant impact in the MEP system. These individuals may have developed a new product or service, improved an important process, or expanded knowledge management and sharing within their organizations or across the enterprise.


The award was presented to the team for its successful pilot of the Lean Enterprise Certification Program (LECP). “Due to this success, many manufacturers are collaborating as they build Lean capacity internally. None of this would have happened had it not been for the hard work and perseverance of this very dedicated team,” says Randy Schwartz, CEO of Dakota MEP.


The first of its kind in the country, the LECP is aimed at helping manufacturers build internal capacity by providing staff members with a working knowledge of the principles and practices of Lean. Dan Halverson, Dakota MEP operations director says, “The program provides the foundation of a uniformed framework of knowledge and standards across the country, based on Lean, a line of thinking with a proven successful track record.”


Launched in May 2006, the pilot program has completed six sessions and has three sessions currently ongoing. Over 20 companies have participated in the LECP, sending several hundred attendees through the initial certification process.


Blaine Graphenteen, supply chain manager with 3M in Brookings, SD, participated in one of the first sessions and says, “I have really enjoyed learning about Lean principles from the Dakota MEP team. The knowledge brought to the table, the materials provided and the teaching techniques really made it a very enjoyable and worthwhile learning experience.”


With more sessions and other certification levels in the works, Dakota MEP is looking for more manufacturers to begin the process of Lean certification. To learn more about Lean Enterprise and the LECP, contact Dan Halverson at 701-238-5472 or at [email protected].


Also, at the conference, the Dakota MEP Center Services Team of Dolly Branley, Sheila Link, AJ Sadowsky, and Darcy Vaughn were nominated for the Unsung Hero of the Year award for their role of planning and executing every aspect of the first Dakota MEP Manufacturing Conference.


The Unsung Hero of the Year award is for individuals or groups from marketing, reporting, administrative, human resources, and other support roles, whose special efforts behind-the-scenes have allowed their centers to excel in the eyes of the customer.


Dakota MEP is the preferred manufacturing partner. We are part of a unique, national public and private partnership with local offices in North and South Dakota. This local access gives our partner clients quick, cost-effective solutions to their manufacturing challenges. It also gives manufacturers quick, cost-effective solutions to address needs and opportunities. Dakota MEP specializes in providing Lean Enterprise services to organizations to help them build their value for their customers, employees, investors, partners and stakeholders.







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