Volunteers from Newport News Shipbuilding's Lean Community of Practice pack food at the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank.

Volunteering Yields Lean Learning Moments

Published January 4, 2022

The Lean Community of Practice (CoP), a voluntary Newport News Shipbuilding community, volunteered to pack food boxes and sweet potatoes for the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank on Dec. 13. The NNS Lean Community of Practice focuses on Continuous Improvement and Lean Manufacturing benchmarking, learning and sharing best practices.

Fourteen volunteers representing departments X51, T53, T56, O54, E70 and E81 volunteered their own time packaging food to be distributed in the community. The volunteers included Richard Aiken, Brenda Berkley, Joshua Buchanan, Chad Daniels, Naomi Ghirmai, Crystal Krompegel, Joseph Martin, Michael McClellan, Richard and Robin Penley, Jason Prokup, Sabrina Quick, Nicole Radcliff, Russ Shaffer, Brian Tapajna and Cenise Waites.

In two and a half hours, the Lean CoP packed 360 boxes on nine pallets. The work provided an opportunity to practice skills, seeing lean principles – or the lack thereof – at play, while having fun and building comradery among the attendees. The Lean CoP intends to repeat this quarterly, not only for a much needed service in the community, but as means to educate on principles of efficiency, flow and work cell design. This will continue an ongoing relationship with the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank.

The Foodbank is located at 2401 Aluminum Ave. in Hampton. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, check NNS Gives (nns.YourCause.com) or contact the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank for volunteer needs. For more information on the Lean Community of Practice, contact Sabrina Quick, Membership Committee chair; Josh Buchanan, Executive Board chair; or Brian Tapajna, Outreach Committee chair.