SDMTS Launches Lean Leadership Program for Supervisors

YANKTON, South Dakota — On Tuesday, March 10, South Dakota Manufacturing & Technology Solutions (SDMTS) will kick off its first Lean Leadership for Supervisors program at the Yankton Chamber of Commerce.

SDMTS was established in 2010 as a Manufacturing Extension Partnership center, part of a national network that exists to support the manufacturing industry at all stages. The office is located in Sioux Falls, but it services the entire state with satellite branches in Rapid City and Aberdeen.

Developing educational resources like the Lean Leadership for Supervisors program is a key example of the work SDMTS does to support the industry statewide.

According to Sara Wevik, SDMTS’ marketing specialist, the program has been in the works for about two years. With the goal of developing new leaders and optimizing operations, the Lean Leadership for Supervisors program covers a variety of topics to enhance leadership skills and implement lean principles.

“Strong leaders can influence productivity and create a better culture, which in turn helps to retain talent and reduce costs, hopefully increasing employee engagement and decreasing turnover,” Wevik said.

Examples of session topics include “Fundamental Lean Principles,” “Approaching Difficult Conversations,” and “How to Manage Your Team Effectively,” among others. SDMTS specifically designed the course for emerging supervisors and those who have been in their position for less than two years.

Program participants will meet for four hour sessions every other week, for a period of 12 weeks. In addition to gaining effective tools to implement within their workplaces, supervisors will participate in a final project in which they will set goals, develop a unique coaching process, present a plan for implementation, and build a visual management tool to track their progress.

In the future, SDMTS hopes to expand the program across the state, as well as offering private courses for companies with large group needs.

“Yankton is a strong manufacturing hub, so there was already a strong desire for it, and we thought we’d kick it off there before expanding to other parts of the state,” Wevik said.

Lean Leadership for Supervisors is priced at $2,500.00, and this includes the cost of the DiSC Assessment, as well as any relevant materials.

Participants who sign up by February 14 will receive twenty percent off an individual registration. Additionally, groups registering 2 or more people can use the promo code, “YANKTON20” to receive twenty percent off the total cost of attendance. These discounts cannot be combined.

For more information or to register for the program, contact Business Advisor Kellie Ecker at (605) 228-0414 or