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Urbandale Students Partner With Bridgestone Executives To Solve Business Challenges

Posted March 12, 2014 in Community Web Exclusives, Urbandale

URBANDALE, Iowa – March 12, 2014 – How can education better prepare students for a future that is yet to unfold? That question is at the core of the Urbandale Community School District’s fundamental quest for transforming education and is the impetus for a group of seven Urbandale High School students participating in the second-annual Langford/Iowa Quality Center Student TEAMS (Training in Evaluating, Analyzing, and Measuring Systems) training. Over the course of five days, students will learn critical problem solving tools and how to systematically improve work processes. The students will then partner with business executives from Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations to better understand an existing business challenge in order to present a solution to Bridgestone and district leadership. The Urbandale High School Student TEAMS group presentation will take place today, March 12, 2014, at Bridgestone’s Agricultural Tire Manufacturing plant.

“I am pleased that we are able to partner with Bridgestone to provide this outstanding, real-world learning opportunity for our students,” said Dr. Doug Stilwell, Superintendent, Urbandale Community School District.  “I believe this will be highly beneficial for our students and for Bridgestone.  I hope to see more opportunities such as this in the future.”

Student TEAMS training is a partnership between the Iowa Quality Center and Langford International to create a learning experience for both the students and the business sponsors. The training was developed by David P. Langford  based on research that determined students learn best when immersed in the process of learning and constantly involved in critical thinking that can be applied to real-world problems.

“Problem solving is one of the core employability skills for business.  Bridgestone’s partnership with IQC and UCSD provides students with a deeper knowledge of how to solve real world issues to drive improvement, innovation and competitiveness in business,” said Scott J. Burgmeyer, Continuous Improvement Manager, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC, Des Moines Agricultural Tire Manufacturing Plant.

The five-day Student TEAMS experience includes two days of training in over 50 proven problem-solving tools in the workplace and the nine-step process following the PDSA (Plan Do Study Act) Cycle of continuous improvement. Following the training, a business sponsor hosts the team of students at their place of business to work on an assigned project for three days. The Student TEAMS group then presents a theory of improvement or a solution to the business leadership on the final day of the experience.

As numerous education studies indicate a consistent and steady decline in student enthusiasm and enjoyment, the Urbandale Community School District is dedicated to reversing this widespread trend by designing learning environments that are more purposeful, relevant and meaningful for all. The Student TEAMS experience embodies the district’s continued focus on transforming education in order to better prepare students to prosper and thrive in an increasingly competitive, global workforce.

About Firestone Farm Tires, a division of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations
Firestone Farm Tires (FSAG), a division of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, is the industry leader in the manufacturing, marketing and sales of market-leading Firestone agricultural tires. FSAG’s Des Moines, Iowa, facility is located in the heart of America’s farm belt and supplies approximately half of the agricultural tires consumed by North American original equipment manufacturers as well as being the leading agricultural tire supplier in the North American replacement market. Firestone agricultural tires can be found on farm tractors, planting and harvesting equipment and other farm implements in North America and around the world. In addition, FSAG markets and sells forestry and construction tires. FSAG also operates a testing facility, located in Columbiana, Ohio, which is the only facility in the world solely dedicated to the development and testing of agricultural tires. For more information, visit: www.firestoneag.com
 
About Iowa Quality Center
Formed in 1993, the Woods Quality Center began as a shared vision of a total quality environment for the entire community, including business and industry, schools, government, nonprofit organizations, labor unions, and the service and retail industries. In 2001 the name was changed to the Iowa Quality Center (IQC) as a result of a new state-wide focus. Today, IQC has over 180 member organizations with more than 48,000 individual members representing government, manufacturing, business, education, labor, retail, service, and healthcare organizations. While the IQC staff is based in Marion, its networking groups, consultation, and membership activities take place throughout the state. For more information, visit: www.iowaqc.org
 
About Langford International, Inc.
Langford International, Inc. provides professional consulting, customized training and keynote presentations specific to learning, applying and studying the continual quality improvement process. David P. Langford is an international consultant, speaker, writer and educator on quality implementation in education and it’s correlation to business and the economy. Langford has a wealth of knowledge in case histories that illustrate the successes and pitfalls associated with implementing quality improvement methods. Organizations may request specific consulting in order to develop a long-term system implementation plan, or as support during the early stages of development. Langford International Inc. provides customized workshops incorporating specific techniques, processes, and theories presented during the Langford 4-Day Learning Seminars, 2-Day Leadership Seminars, or Student TEAMS Training. For more information, visit: www.langfordlearning.com
 
About Urbandale Community School District
The Urbandale Community School District includes portions of Des Moines and Urbandale, Iowa. The district serves over 3,900 students in six elementary schools, one middle school and one comprehensive high school. The Urbandale district supports an increasingly diverse student population where 50 languages are spoken. Building on the existing foundation of excellence in education, Urbandale is transforming education throughout the district. By implementing innovative Quality/Continual Improvement strategies that create learning environments that more fully engage, challenge and motivate students, Urbandale is taking transformation from theory into practice. Urbandale prepares students for becoming lifelong learners and is a school district that brings learning to life for everyone. To learn more, visit: www.urbandaleschools.com





2 Comments

  1. I was privileged to work with this group of young people. I found them to be bright, honest, innovative, and energetic. I really enjoyed working with them, and watching them discover where their tools would lead them. I have been working for Birdgestone for 20 years, and specifically in problem solving for 18 years. These are very good tools for the students to know going forward. They all applied them well, and have learned new life skills that will help them succeed in whatever they chose to do.
    A special thank you to Scott and to Bridgestone for allowing me to be part of this. I believe in this program, and will give it my full support.

  2. The Iowa Quality Center has had the opportunity to lead more than 180 teams of students through this process since 1995. Our vision is one where every student gains exposure to the tools of quality and continual improvement. Delivery of the two day preparation training is necessary but is not possible unless we have businesses and educators that share a vision to support the students and provide resources for them to gain this knowledge.
    What would our future workforce be like if we began to introduce problem solving techniques in Kindergarten and systematically integrated it into every year of their education? The workforce capability would grow exponentially and jobs may become more interesting. The Iowa Quality Center will retain that vision. We hope you can help make it a reality.

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