May Event – Volunteering with Harvesters

Harvesters logoHarvesters’ mission is to feed hungry people today and work to end hunger tomorrow. As this area’s only food bank, Harvesters is a clearinghouse for the collection and distribution of food and related household products.
They have been helping people in need since 1979 by

  • Collecting food and household products from community and industry sources
  • Distributing those products and providing nutrition services through a network of nonprofit agencies
  • Offering leadership and education programs to increase community awareness of hunger and generate solutions to alleviate hunger

Grab a co-worker, friend, or family member and bring them with you!! Children 6 and older are also welcome.

When: Tuesday May 8th, 5pm-7pm
Where: 3801 Topping Ave., Kansas City, MO 64129 Phone: 816.929.3000
RSVP: By May 4th to Beth Kelley at bethkelley@hotmail.com

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Educate our Youth about Industrial Engineering!

By Amy Martens, P.E.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity during national Engineer’s Week this past February to educate our youth about Industrial Engineering. I was asked by the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center in Topeka, KS to participate in an Engineering Expo to provide our youth with exciting and interactive engineering experiments. This was the first time the recently opened facility has held this event and they have the desire to make it an annual occurrence.

Several organizations and engineering disciplines were represented at the event:

  • Westar Energy: Electrical Engineering
  • Kansas Department of Transportation: Civil Engineering
  • Kansas State University: Civil Engineering
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas: Industrial Engineering

The engineering displays were enjoyable to the both the children and adults who participated in the event. The civil engineering displays shared knowledge about water quality,  treatment and buoyancy; the electrical engineering display showed the energy savings tied to using LED technology; and the industrial engineering display provided a demonstration of unit production as compared to assembly line production using Legos.

It was exciting to me to share the passion I have for engineering with our youth. This type of volunteerism is something that I highly recommend to any engineer. If you have any interest in assisting with this event next year, please contact me at amy.martens@bcbsks.com. The representatives at the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center would like to grow this event next year, so it would be great if I could interest volunteers who could represent Industrial Engineering from other organizations.

More info on the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center – http://www.kansasdiscovery.org/

Communication

What is the one thing we never seem to get enough of, especially at work? Communication – and I don’t mean pure email volume. At least once a week I have a chat with my facility director where one of us will say “I didn’t hear that!” We have a senior staff meeting every Monday that we even start with 5 minutes of gossip because the different support departments hear something no one else has. I’m sure you can all relate to the feeling. The same thing can be said for our organization and chapter.

I think Rachel would agree with me that moving to the quarterly newsletter has made managing it easier – translation: she only has to harp on officers (me) for content 4 times/year instead of 12. However, my opinion is that the timeliness of the information suffers, especially when we’re trying to recap the last 2-3 events and provide info on events still 2 months away. So like any good IE would do, I’m going to some benchmarking and look to technology and current trends to solve this problem.

For the past year the Western Region has been using a blog to distribute news, content and general IIE reminders to its members. At our December RVP meetings we discussed rolling it out to the rest of the regions but I also saw the benefit at the chapter level so I put the wheels into action. I started up a site on WordPress (https://iiekansascity.wordpress.com) that we should be able to post information to more regularly, primarily getting our monthly meeting announcements and recaps out in a timely fashion. The plan is to spread the rest of our quarterly content out over each 3 month period so you at least a couple articles to read each month, and I’ll start the charge of looking for additional content of interest.

Another avenue I’d also like to start utilizing better is the social media outlets we’ve created over the past couple years. Did you know we have a Facebook group (http://www.facebook.com/groups/161163940629771/) or a Twitter account (http://twitter.com/kciie)? We shared some great pics from the Kaufman stadium tour last summer on the FB page but we fell off after that. So yet another goal for me this year is to get these more active.

Feel free to reach out to me if there is any particular content you want to see on these sites. And if you have a passion for social media or blogging and would be interested in getting involved, I would be more than happy to let you because my first rule of being a manager is “Delegate, delegate, delegate!”