From left, Colmon Elrige, executive assistant to Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear; Jennie Freels, quality assurance support and programs manager; and Michelle Dudley, quality assurance manager. Freels and Dudley are with LATA Environmental Services of Kentucky.
PADUCAH, Ky. – The environmental cleanup contractor at EM’s Paducah site has been honored for demonstrating serious commitment to performance improvement principles.
LATA Environmental Services of Kentucky received an award for Performance Excellence, Level II – Commitment, from the Kentucky Center for Performance Excellence (KYCPE). The organization honors organizations based on the demonstration of performance excellence practices at one of four levels: interest, commitment, achievement, and excellence.
Michelle Dudley and Jennie Freels of LATA Kentucky’s quality assurance organization received the honor at the 2014 Annual Best Practice Sharing Conference for KYCPE. Colmon Elrige, executive assistant to Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, presented the award.
An all-volunteer organization, KYCPE promotes the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence in Kentucky and employs an innovative approach to assessing operational performance by using a nationally recognized program implemented at a state level. The program provides feedback on strengths and potential areas of improvement from highly experienced examiners. With the feedback, organizations are recognized for their current performance level in accordance with the criteria. Unlike contracted third-party audits, this process provides a fully independent comprehensive review of performance across the organization.
The feedback is useful in the strategic planning process by building on strengths and addressing opportunities for improvement, said Dudley, a quality assurance manager.
“The process assists in finding gaps and strengthens methods of measuring, monitoring, and implementing all processes to demonstrate effectiveness and support improvements,” Dudley added. “The application process alone helps organizations identify areas for improvement while supporting changes that increase performance and competitiveness."
Feedback received from the application provides additional opportunities for improvement and a reinforcement of best business practices already in use.
“Safety is of utmost importance to LATA,” according to the feedback report from examiners. “The Integrated Safety Management System—Environmental Management System is designed to apply execution and a monitoring process that support safe and compliant performance of the workforce in completion of LATA’s mission.”
Examiners also found strengths in LATA Kentucky’s processes and the annual site management plan, calling them a systematic, well-deployed approach to strategic planning.
“Cycles of learning are proven by the use of lessons learned from other Department of Energy Environmental Management Projects,” according to the evaluation. Examiners said these processes allow LATA Kentucky to respond quickly to a changing environment.