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IU Northwest offers Lean Six Sigma Certification for business students, local professionals

A business education hallmark, coveted program now extended to community

Thursday Mar 23, 2017

Indiana University Northwest ‘s Lean Six Sigma (LSS) intermediate- and expert–level certifications are now available to business professionals in Northwest Indiana. Enrollees need not be IU Northwest students to take advantage of this coveted certification program.

Those interested in learning more about how to earn their green and black belt certifications from the IU Northwest School of Business and Economics are invited to an open house at 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 29 in the Dunes Medical/Professional Building, Room 1156.

Lean Six Sigma is a methodology that provides the strategy, tools and techniques to significantly improve the performance of an organization relative to processes, services, employees, customer satisfaction and the business bottom line. It combines the concept of Lean, which focuses on the elimination of waste and non-value added activities, with the structured, data-driven analytical tools of Six Sigma.

Incorporated into the Weekend MBA program in 2015, the LSS program at IU Northwest has certified 15 green belts to date. Green belts demonstrate knowledge and application of LSS principles through successful completion of course work and an LSS project, equipping them with the skill and training to solve most process-related problems.

Jana Szostek, director of the Center for Management Development at IU Northwest, said the program is ideal for those seeking to enhance their business credentials, and especially business owners and managers interested in taking their business to the next level.

“We are excited about being able to offer this program to the business community of Northwest Indiana,” Szostek said. “The Lean Six Sigma methodology will help any business be competitive in our region, as well as our increasingly global marketplace. It has become the gold standard of quality and continuous improvement and is a highly sought-after certification. Its methods are applicable to any organization.”

The Green Belt program, which serves as a pre-requisite to the expert-level Black Belt, will be offered from April 19 to July 1. Classes will meet every Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Black Belt program will be offered from September 7 to October 28. Classes  will meet every Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Preparation for whatever comes next

For Jim Waters, a senior maintenance planner for ArcelorMittal, utilizing troubleshooting and problem-solving skills is part of his everyday job, where he has to logically address a system, analyze the weak points, and improve them. He applies this to equipment, processes and procedures.

“Six Sigma provides a systematic approach to problem identification and solving. Because my career relies heavily on problem solving, having a structured tool is invaluable,” said Waters, a 2016 IU Northwest Weekend MBA alumnus. “It provides me with a competitive advantage over my peers in that I have applied a world renowned discipline to my work.”

Matt Johnson, another 2016 Weekend MBA alumnus, is the primary scheduling manager at ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor. He said the certification has helped him making sure the company is meeting customer demand and running the units as efficiently as possible. He says his green belt will help him approach problem solving in a more efficient manner.

For more information about IU Northwest’s School of Business and Economics and the LSS certification programs, call 219-980-6910 or visit

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