Businesses today, regardless of the sector, are very complex and desire a workforce that is capable of thinking and acting differently. The need for teamwork within businesses is a top requirement as a high level of workforce engagement becomes a distinct advantage for any business.
The Student TEAMS Training connects the community’s schools with businesses inside the community. The TEAMS (Training in Evaluating, Analyzing and Measuring Systems) training program has been a part of the high school experience in several of the schools in the Cedar Rapids area since 1995. In 2012, the TEAMS Training expanded to the Urbandale Schools and in October of 2016, Oskaloosa had 4 student teams and, for the first time, the training included 2 teacher teams in the training.
Who is involved? Teams of 5-8 students are selected by their schools to receive an initial 2 days of training in continuous quality improvement. New skills, tools and knowledge are taught to the students through case studies and a resource that includes 62 problem-solving tools based on the PDSA cycle of addressing problems. After that initial training, the teams are paired with a community business sponsor to spend 2-3 days inside their organization focused on a problem/issue chosen by the business.
After the 2-3 days working on the organization’s problem, the student team presents the results of their research and their recommendations to their business sponsor. Often, the new skills and enthusiasm for the relevance of their learning astonishes both the business leaders and school officials. It is the hope of the IQC that the Student TEAMS Training will expand across Iowa.