Virtual Voices

Abstract:This article examines the successful application of lean Six Sigma tools and systems in a collaborative human services program. An unemployment rate that spiked from 4 to 10% between 2000 and 2010 in Ohio created a significant increase in the number of applicants for cash, food, and medical assistance. A virtual, multicounty call center was created to improve efficiency and better serve clients by increasing capacities through resource and staff sharing across county lines. Led by Wood County, a plan known as Collabor8 involving the jobs and family services departments of Delaware, Hancock, Knox, Marion, Morrow and Sandusky counties was formed to serve an anticipated 2,500 new applicants and 3,600 returning applicants monthly. As the multicounty project took shape, involving Bowling Green State University (BGSU) was a natural part of the …

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