Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


"72 percent of educators believed that graduates were ready for employment, only 45 percent of youth and 42 percent of employers agreed. This data reveals that today's post-secondary education fails to equip people to successfully exploit current and emerging economic opportunities." (Trend, 2015) Educational institutions must equip students for good high paying jobs and post secondary education and training. This means reaching beyond traditional academic settings and practices. It is projected that careers like welding will grow by about 10,000 jobs by 2024. (Department of Labor, 2016) Typical educational requirements for these positions is a high school diploma. (Department of Labor, 2016) Most high school student's resumes are pretty empty. This is typically due to the lack of work experience a teenager can obtain in just a few years, combined with the type of jobs they qualify for. So, how do we help prepare students for good, high paying manufacturing jobs with little to no experience? How do we give them experience they can use for the manufacturing sector while they are still in our classrooms? How can we do both of these while improving the classroom environment? All of these can be achieved by implementing lean manufacturing practices in the educational setting.

Many lean practices have a place, and should be implemented in educational settings. By implementing practices designed and used in lean manufacturing we can simultaneously expose students to strategies used in the real world, while improving the classroom environment by making it more efficient. Lean can be defined as the total removal of waste, to achieve competitive advantages. (Agarwal, 2015) By definition this will give our students an advantage while creating less waste. By creating less waste in our classroom environment we have an opportunity to see an economic advantage as well.

Year of Submission



Department of Industrial Technology

First Advisor

Scott Greenhalgh


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