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Lean in

Postal Service’s Lean Six Sigma certifications surging

Arizona District Complement Coordinator Michelle Caggiano, an LSS black belt, is one of 778 employees who received certification last year.

Michelle Caggiano is always seeking a better way.

Caggiano, a complement coordinator, helps oversee staffing for Western Area’s Arizona District. To boost her skill set, she recently participated in the Postal Service’s Lean Six Sigma (LSS) program.

“I loved the training,” said Caggiano. “It helped me become more effective in my job.”

Caggiano is one of 778 employees who received LSS certification in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. “This is more than twice the number who were certified during fiscal 2014,” said Office of Continuous Improvement Executive Manager Sal Santangelo.

The certifications include 50 “black belts,” the highest level of LSS-trained experts, and 728 “green belts.” Black and green belts work with fellow employees on projects to improve customers’ experiences, boost efficiency and reduce waste.

The sharp rise in LSS certifications reflects the Postal Service’s focus on professional development, as well as the organization’s ongoing efforts to become more efficient.

LSS projects saved the Postal Service more than $190 million during fiscal 2015, although Santangelo said the benefits go beyond dollars and cents.

“Continuous improvement is changing the culture of the Postal Service by streamlining organizational processes,” he said.

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