UB Center Improved Efficiency in Erie County, Saving Taxpayers More Than $2 Million

National economic development organization recognizes TCIE's achievement

Release Date: November 18, 2009 This content is archived.


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Tim Leyh, TCIE executive director (right), recently accepted the University Economic Development Association's Workforce Development award from UEDA president Wayne Watkins for TCIE's Lean Six Sigma work with Erie County.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A partnership between Erie County and the University at Buffalo's Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE) designed to boost efficiencies in government saved taxpayers $2.2 million in 2008 and is projected to save county taxpayers $2 million in 2009.

"The Center for Industrial Effectiveness has been instrumental in the success of the Lean Six Sigma journey in Erie County," said Bill Carey, director of the county's Six Sigma program.

Lean Six Sigma is an industry-proven quality methodology. The problem-solving approach helps businesses and organizations grow and improve through greater efficiency.

Last month, the UB TCIE's role in helping implement "Efficient Government Through Lean Six Sigma" in Erie County received national recognition when the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) presented TCIE executive director Tim Leyh with the Award of Excellence in Workforce Development at its national meeting in San Antonio. The UEDA is an organization of higher education and business professionals collaborating to enhance economic development.

Erie County tapped UB's TCIE for its quality-improvement expertise, to provide county employees with the tools needed to improve a broad range of services for the 900,000 residents it serves while managing costs.

Carey said that UB's TCIE has been involved in the initiative since the start, helping with transition planning in 2007, providing technical training and project mentoring support to more than 200 employees, participating in an advisory group of external business and academic leaders and delivering overall Lean Six Sigma program support.

So far, Lean Six Sigma projects have saved taxpayer money by streamlining operations in various county departments. The county's Department of Mental Health, for example, sharply reduced juvenile residential treatments while expanding community-based alternatives, and the Department of Public Works reduced overtime and consolidated maintenance procedures for fleet services.

UB's TCIE was previously recognized by the UEDA for its Lean Six Sigma continuous improvement and training at Saint Vincent Health Center in Erie, Pa., and for Lean Six Sigma training and implementation at 16 key suppliers of Delphi Thermal's Lockport facility, as well as for business improvement work at Quebecor and Bethlehem Steel.

TCIE provides a dynamic link between UB's expert resources and the region's business community. A program of the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, TCIE fosters partnerships and manages projects as diverse as the region's businesses, and is a premier provider of Lean Six Sigma training and mentoring. For more information on how TCIE can assist Western New York businesses, go to http://www.tcie.buffalo.edu.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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