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Workforce Development
Corporate Representative
Bldg E, Room E105, ECC Campus
Tel: 847-214-7803
Fax: 847-931-3911

Success Stories

ECC’s workforce development services provide programs for local employers on-site and on ECC’s campus. Contact ECC for more information.

Custom Aluminum Products, Inc.

Custom Aluminum Logo

The Illinois Community College Trustee Association selected Custom Aluminum Products and Elgin Community College as the recipients of the 2013 Business/Industry Partnership Award.

This award recognizes an Illinois business that has built a successful workforce-training alliance with a local community college.

Custom Aluminum Products, Inc. has partnered with ECC’s Workforce Development department since 2004 in offering 34 training programs consisting of approximately 600 hours of training. Three programs that have delivered measurable improvements and cost savings are Six Sigma Green Belt Certification, 5S Workplace Management and Lean Manufacturing training.

These programs were included in the curriculum that was part of “Custom University. “ Created in 2010, when the economy had worsened, Custom’s upper management discussed ways for the company and its employees to become more competitive in an ever changing marketplace. Custom believes that education is one of the most important assets an employer can provide to their employees. It became important to be able to provide incentives that were not monetary. During this slowdown, Custom internally analyzed efficiency and developed specialized classes in partnership with ECC that would benefit not only Custom employees, but also their customers.

The rationale behind the creation of “Custom University” was two fold:

  • Provide Custom employees with additional skills and training for future career development
  • Promote a stronger partnership with their customers by making the classes available to them. Custom felt the interaction and learning alongside their customers would develop better working relationships.

According to President Steve Dillett:

“ECC’s flexibility to work with us allowed us to hold these classes at our facility, as well as customize the curriculum to maximize learning and reinforce business relationships with our customers who attended. ECC has become a valued partner to Custom Aluminum, providing training that has allowed for employee growth and promotion within our organization.”

The return on investment from the training is as follows:

Paint department dead zone reduction: A Six Sigma team analyzed how to effectively reduce the amount of time from changing over the paint line from Part A to Part B. An initial goal of 30% reduction was anticipated. After the final study was completed a 67% reduction in dead zone time had occurred which resulted in a 25% production increase. Measurable cost savings have also been seen in the paint area as a result of 5S training because of paint transfer efficiency.

Scrap reduction: Custom has been able to reduce annual scrap from 32% to 28%^ due to lean initiatives put into place after employees attended a Lean Manufacturing class provided by ECC. Six Sigma training gave employees the process tools to analyze scrap.

Plant-wide: Key Process Indicators (KPI’s) in all departments have improved as a direct result of implementing 5S plant wide. Measurable cost savings have occurred in the paint area due to 5S because of paint transfer efficiency. Department supervisors have taken the initiative and become more responsible for organization in their departments. All departments are running more efficiently due to 5S and parts are moving through the plant at a faster rate, thus improving on-time delivery to their customers.

All of the employees that attended the 5S and Six Sigma classes and were assigned to project teams were recognized at the end of year award program. Their contributions are having a positive effect on the bottom line of the company.

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