The Water We Drink: Does Quality Matter?

Please check out this video if you are at all interested in the quality of the water you drink.

West Michigan's Most Influential Quality Professionals: A Panel Discussion on Contemporary Issues in Quality

Another great ASQ Student Branch Sponsored event at Ferris State University in Grand Rapids, MI. March 23 was the latest installment of this event held each and ever fall and spring semester at Ferris State University on the Grand Rapids, MI campus. This video can be found on YouTube and the event will again be televised on GRCC-TV.  We share it here for your viewing pleasure!

Correlation Does Not Equal Causation

Attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte is the quote, “A picture worth a thousand words.” The Family Circus snippet below provides a very good example of correlation not equaling causation. Anyone who has flown, clearly knows that the seatbelt sign is not the cause of in-flight turbulence. Their certainly is a correlation, because the light is turned on whenever it gets bumpy. The litmus test for causation?  Remove the light and see if it eliminates the turbulence.

The ISO 9001 Standard Changes: What's New and Improved?

Grand Rapids ASQ Section 1001 is sponsoring a workshop presented by Don Brecken on the changes to the new ISO 9001 standard revision. Workshop attendees will understand the important changes in the ISO 9001 standard and implications related to transition. The new revision, scheduled to be published in September 2015, has significant changes. Any organization certified to or otherwise using ISO 9001:2008 today will benefit from this workshop.  This event is scheduled for June 25.  However, if there is enough interest this event can be repeated and even offered at workplace locations. For more information and to register for the workshop, follow this link...


ASQ Influential Voices Contribution: STEM Education Not So Fun?

In his March 9 A View from the Q blog post, titled Encourage the Next Generation of STEM Professionals, ASQ CEO, Bill Troy indicates: “Businesses can play an important role in helping to encourage the next generation of STEM professionals.”  This month, ASQ CEO Bill Troy challenges the ASQ Influential Voices bloggers to “step up to the plate” with regard to encouraging students to pursue a STEM education.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. A STEM-related program in education prepares students for professions in these important fields. Why the emphasis on STEM? According to sources the U.S. has a shortage of STEM skills and many STEM-related jobs go unfilled. 

These sources add that...
wages have grown relatively fast in most STEM-oriented occupations, which is a clear indication of a shortage. From 2000 to 2013, analyzing Bureau of Labor Statistics data and adjusting for inflation, median salaries for workers in computer and mathematical, health care practitioner, engineering, and science occupations rose 8 percent, 7 percent, 6 percent and 5 percent respectively, even as those for the average U.S. worker showed no growth.

This rise in STEM-related salaries underscore the role of the free market with regard to this shortage of STEM educated graduates. Salaries are increasing which should work to encourage more students to seek a STEM education. This, however, may not be enough to attract today’s students to gain a STEM education. 

A STEM education may not be fun enough for today’s students. 

Global Influence: Career Advice on New Year's Eve

On New Year's Eve I was contacted by a gentlemen from Nigeria who reached out to me for advice on how to move his career forward. Needless to say, I was honored to have someone from more than 6,000 miles away seeking my advice on anything, let alone career advice. His inquiry came to me via an email from LinkedIn where the gentlemen, we will call him Solomon, must have found me and my LinkedIn profile. Again, I am honored that Solomon sought me out and asked me for career advice, which I happily provided. I share this here because there may be something we can all learn from Solomon’s situation.

My response to Solomon was based on his resume which he sent for my review and what additional facts I could glean from his LinkedIn profile.

Hello Solomon,
The way forward will depend on your career objectives and goals. You have a rich background in electrical engineering and it appears as if you lean toward the Quality aspects of your profession. You carry valuable credentials which I am sure are highly-regarded by your peers and those you serve in your occupation. I will provide you with multiple recommendations for your consideration. These recommendations are fairly general since your stated objective is relatively broad. 
My recommendations include the following...