Cummins TEC Opens Minds...And Doors

The Cummins Technical Education for Communities program helps provide vocational training around the world.
Berfu Alev and her "family" of female students in Izmir, Turkey, are changing perceptions of what it means to work in a technical career.

Like others in Cummins’ TEC: Technical Education for Communities program, family has been a motivating factor in their success.

“I think I can help other girls in the technical field,” said Alev, a student at Ege University. “I try to remove the stigmas and stereotypes associated with the ‘dirtiness’ of a technical career and highlight the state-of-the-art equipment that today’s professionals use.”

TEC is a global initiative by Cummins to address communities’ technical skills gaps through vocational education. Alev’s school is one of 14 TEC sites that Cummins and its industry partners have opened since 2011. In 2015, sites launched in Arequipa, Peru; Kohlapur, India; Brisbane, Australia; Perth, Australia and Beijing, China.

“The technical skills gap has created a two-sided economic problem in many of our communities around the globe,” said Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger, the company’s lead sponsor for TEC. “On the one hand, employers cannot find enough qualified people to fill critical technician roles. And, on the other hand, many able people cannot find good paying jobs.

“By helping young people obtain in-demand technical skills, we can expand employment opportunities and improve the quality of life in our communities,” he said.

The students participating in TEC come from diverse backgrounds and socioeconomic levels. Many believe the program is the catalyst they need to succeed and give back to their families – often the people integral to their pursuit of a technical education.

“Both my father and older brother left school early to work and have encouraged me to get an education so I’ll have a stable future,” said Mert Nahit Karakus, a third-year TEC student studying mechatronics at Ege University. “To have a job in the technical field is an opportunity that will totally change my future.”

Karakus was a summer intern at Cummins’ Filtration facility in Izmir in 2015. Workplace learning opportunities are a core component of TEC to ensure students engage in hands-on training before graduation. Across all TEC initiatives, 107 students participated in internships during 2015.

Come summer 2016, Karakus will be a member of TEC’s first graduating class, as will Meryem Zerouali, a 22-year-old student at the Morocco TEC site in Casablanca. Her interest in mechanics started at a very young age.

Cummins TEC students - China TEC students in China visit a Cummins repair center. The program is designed to give students both classroom and practical experience.

 

“It’s kind of funny because I didn’t have any technical experience before I enrolled in TEC, but I’ve always been curious about fixing problems in cars,” Zerouali said. “I can thank my uncle for that.”

As Zerouali and her fellow students graduate from the program, Cummins and its industry partners will measure graduates’ job-placement rates, knowledge retention, their compensation relative to a “living wage” and employer feedback on their skills and attitudes.

Zerouali feels prepared for her future.

“I’m confident that I will be able to get a job based on my current training at the school and at my internship,” she said.

Alev, meanwhile, will likely continue opening others’ eyes to what a technical career can mean and her example may inspire more young women as TEC expands to 20 sites by 2017.

“I believe that women employed in the technical areas will increase,” Alev said, “and people’s ideas about women in the workplace will slowly change.”

Additional Resources

See more stories like this in the 2015-2016 Sustainability Report.

Michael Nagel

Michael Nagel is the Digital Brand Reputation Manager - External Communications for Cummins Inc. He has more than 10 years of digital communications and traditional public relations experience, with a focus on social media marketing and digital communications. Michael earned his B.A. from the Indiana University School of Journalism - Indianapolis and currently resides in Indianapolis. 

Cummins employee joins the frontlines of the fight in the U.K. against COVID-19

Cummins employee Stephen Layton checks the medical gases at the Nightingale Hospital at ExCeL London.
Cummins employee Stephen Layton checks the medical gases at the Nightingale Hospital at ExCeL London.

Stephen Layton is a Cummins employee in the U.K. and a husband and father to three children. With COVID-19 cases rising, it would have been easy to become insular. But when he thought he could help, Layton didn’t hesitate.  

Prior to joining Cummins as a telecommunications manager, Layton worked in the medical gas testing industry, ensuring that oxygen and other essential gases needed in hospital intensive care units were up to standards.

When the pandemic escalated in the U.K., Layton was sought after by contacts from his medical gas testing days to help as a volunteer testing the medical gases at some locations including the Nightingale Hospital at ExCeL London.

The Nightingale Hospital at ExCeL London.
The Nightingale hospitals like the one at ExCeL London provided valuable capacity to the British health care system at the peak of the virus outbreak and will remain open in case the virus spikes again.

The exhibition and convention center was initially converted into a 500-bed hospital with ventilators and oxygen to help with the crisis but was later expanded to a 2,000-bed facility.

“I thought about the thousands of people who would need these medical gases to survive and couldn’t say no to playing my part,” said Layton, who has also volunteered at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, another convention center converted into a Nightingale Hospital about two hours northwest of London. 

He has completed more than 100 volunteer hours at these hospitals and is scheduled for more. Layton and the team he’s working with have now tested gases on more than 3,000 bed-stations at different Nightingale hospitals. Each bed has an oxygen supply to deliver directly to patients and another oxygen and medical air supply to run ventilators.

Through it all, for Layton and the team, safety has been the number one priority. 

“We adhere to the highest safety and hygiene procedures at all times,” he said. “We drive in separate cars to the hospitals, even though most of us live close to each other and could carpool; we keep our masks on; we wash our hands frequently and we maintain good distance while working.” 

Layton is one of many people around the world putting themselves on the line to help in the response to COVID-19. His volunteer service and dedication embodies the Cummins values of caring and integrity.


 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Doing our part: Increasing digital inclusion through technology

Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2020
GAAD is an annual observance dedicated to encouraging the world to talk, think and learn about digital access, inclusion and people with different disabilities. 

This year marks the ninth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), an annual observance dedicated to encouraging the world to talk, think and learn about digital access, inclusion and people with different disabilities. 

At Cummins, we have a deep-rooted commitment to empowering our employees to reach their full potential by working to ensure a truly diverse, accessible, equitable and inclusive environment. For Dennis Heathfield, Executive Director of Inclusion – People with Disabilities and Veterans at Cummins, the opportunity to join GAAD and help the organization amplify its mission is a no brainer.

“Our goal is to reduce barriers to employment for people with disabilities and having accessible technology is a first step in that,” Heathfield said. “We are proud to recognize Global Accessibility Awareness Day and partner with our employees to ensure they have technology to meet their needs.” 

Making technology accessible

As a company with more than 60,000 employees around the world, efforts to create an inclusive work environment extend to the technology Cummins employees use to perform their jobs, including websites, software, computers and mobile devices. 

The company’s aim is to enable employees to fully and independently understand, navigate and interact with technology functions and features easily and effectively. 

“We believe that technology is for everyone,” Heathfield added. “As a company with a rich history of diverse and inclusive policies, we continuously look for ways to make the tools our employees use every day more accessible for users of all abilities.” 

From speech recognition software to captioned telephones (CapTel), the following portfolio of solutions – available to Cummins employees around the world – highlights the company’s continuous efforts to ensure that employees get the most from their technology. 

  1. Speech Recognition Software - The enterprise-ready speech recognition solution converts speech to text empowering employees to create high-quality documentation faster and more efficiently.
  2. Text Prediction Software – AI-powered text predictions help employees avoid typing the same text over and over again in applications they use every day.
  3. Magnifier/Reader Software – A magnifier/reader is a fully integrated magnification and reading program tailored for low-vision users. Magnifiers/readers enlarge and enhance everything on an employee’s computer screen, echoing their typing and essential program activity, and automatically reading documents, web pages and email.
  4. Captioned Telephones - Designed exclusively for individuals with hearing loss, captioned phones (CapTel) work just like any other phone, but users can listen and read word-for-word captions of everything said over the phone.

Ways you can help

Ready to take action? Learn more about GAAD and obtain guidance on how to improve digital accessibility in your workplace by visiting Global Accessibility Awareness Day online, and read about Cummins’ long history of diversity and inclusion

You can also help spread the word about GAAD on social media by joining the conversation and tagging your posts with #GAAD and #InclusionAtCummins

Lauren O'Dell Sidler - Cummins Inc.

Lauren O'Dell Sidler

As a senior communications specialist with Cummins Inc., Lauren O’Dell Sidler works with Cummins leaders to develop and implement communications strategies that reach Cummins’ global audience. 

Employee uses analytical skills to help hospital plan for COVID-19

Cummins employee Stephen Aryee's model will help health care officials in his community.
Cummins employee Stephen Aryee's model will help health care officials in his community.

Having grown up in western Africa, Stephen Aryee is no stranger to health epidemics and the devastating impact they can have on communities.

When he read a news article in early March about COVID-19 cases in the U.S. where he lives now, Aryee was curious to understand how the virus could impact his local community. He thought he might be able to help others gain insights because of his work at Cummins in strategy and market intelligence.

“I felt a sense of urgency when I saw the data,” said Aryee, a Market Insights Segment Leader in the Strategy group. “I felt compelled to find a way to help.” 

MINING THE DATA

Using data he found on Johns Hopkins University’s website, he began building a model focused on Bartholomew County, Indiana, where he currently lives and works and where Cummins has its headquarters. In under a week, the model was complete, producing four key outputs:

•    Actual infections compared to confirmed cases, showing community leaders how the virus may be spreading but hasn’t been captured by confirmed tests.  
•    Potential hospitalizations based on real cases instead of confirmed cases. 
•    Time for a surge to reach hospitals, helping health officials with capacity planning, so they have enough resources to respond. 
•    Expected peak of infection if social distancing guidelines are implemented. 
 
“I knew that if we were behind the curve when the surge hit our community, it would result in a lot of lost lives,” Aryee said. “We’ve got to have a handle on this. I thought if I could make the right models, it would help leaders make informed decisions.” 

PERFECT TIMING

He presented his work to a Cummins business leader, who immediately connected him to Jim Schacht, Executive Director of Community Relations and Corporate Responsibility, and also a member of a Columbus, Indiana, based coronavirus task force. Schacht quickly shared Aryee’s work with leaders at the city’s hospital, Columbus Regional Health (CRH). 

Aryee’s work couldn’t have come at a better time. The executive team at CRH was already working with an analytics group to apply state-level data but needed help localizing it to the 11-county region the hospital serves. He shared his work with CRH leaders to help with modeling data as they define action plans.

“His current role at Cummins requires using lots of data to create a forecast,” said Jahon Hobbeheydar, Executive Director of Corporate Strategy. “I’m proud of him for applying his unique skills to benefit his community in this critical time of need.” 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins OEM protects customers and employees

Onan QG 5500 EFI commercial mobile generator powers an emergency vehicles (photo by Frazer)

Cummins Commercial Mobile OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Frazer, Ltd. understands the impact that essential workers can make during a pandemic. Based in Houston, Texas - Frazer, Ltd. is the leading builder of emergency service vehicles and generator powered custom EMS vehicles for over 25 years. 

For 15 years, Frazer has strictly relied on Cummins to provide their units with the most reliable power. In a time where critical care is at its peak, the company recognizes the need to be truly prepared for any variable. Because of its true independence from the chassis, Frazer opted for the Onan QG 5500 EFI commercial mobile generator to power their emergency vehicles and specialty mobile healthcare units. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the mobile lung screening unit was only used to screen for the beginning stages of lung cancer. Now these specialty units have been deemed even more essential and critical during the pandemic as the virus has been known to attack the lungs and respiratory system first. 

Specialty mobile healthcare unit
A mobile lung screening unit powered by the Onan QG 5500 EFI commercial mobile generator (photo by Frazer)

Frazer is taking every precaution when it comes to the safety of patients and medical personnel - who can take comfort in knowing that most units feature a state of the art ultra violet light decontamination system. This UV light decontamination system allows UV-C light to get into the cracks and crevices of the equipment to disinfect and decontaminate the unit. This is much more efficient than physically wiping down the unit or using aerosol systems which allow for too much downtime. 

Across the country, service teams and shops who partner with Frazer are also teaming up to help fight the pandemic. Frazer representative, Scott Harrell said, “You can’t have a unit down because it needs to be out there saving people’s lives.” Frazer is also offering free service training at their Houston production facility – which includes training on the Cummins Onan generator. “Anything to help the customer take care of their unit to help it last longer,” said Harrell.

Since the start of the pandemic, Frazer has been committed to providing safe and continuous service to their customers as well as a safe working environment for their employees. To keep up with production demands during the COVID-19 crisis, the company completed an in-depth analysis of their production lines. The results indicated that moving to two shifts allowed the company to safely limit the number of employees on the production floor. All employees are expected to wear PPE and stations have been geared to keep people working at a safe distance. The company is also taking steps to possibly install UV lights on the production lines to aid in continuous decontamination. From the employees to the customers across the country, Frazer is doing their part to make sure safety is always at the top of the list.

Jill Weiler headshot

Jill Weiler

Jill Weiler is a Marketing and Communications Senior Specialist for the DBU. She joined the company in 2012, and has served in a variety of roles including Visual Communications as an associate producer and project manager. Prior to joining Cummins, Jill served in the United States Army for 4 years.

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