Employee uses her Six Sigma skills to help families

Staci Selking put her skills to work to help childcare centers, and, by extension, working families.
Staci Selking put her skills to work to help childcare centers, and, by extension, working families.

Of the countless millions affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, working parents of young children face a particular challenge. What happens when an individual at your childcare provider tests positive for the virus? Would the facility remain open? If not, who would care for your child when you’re at work?

Cummins employee Staci Selking jumped in to help her community answer these critical childcare questions and offered solutions that are now being considered for implementation around the state of Indiana. 

Staci Selking
Staci Selking, Cummins Quality Policy Office and Systems Leader

In late March, a task force composed of community leaders in Cummins’ headquarters city of Columbus, Indiana, identified this as an urgent need for local nonprofit, Children Inc. The child care facility is remaining open for essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis, providing a critical service for families who need childcare so they can continue to work.

Layers of details and scenarios had to be addressed so the facility was fully prepared and could respond appropriately should one of the scenarios occur. Time was of the essence, and the safety of the children and staff at the center was at stake.

The task force turned to Cummins for help. Selking, Cummins Quality Policy Office and Systems Leader, immediately volunteered her Six Sigma skills. She began by gathering detailed information from the Director of Health Services at the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation, the task force’s liaison to the public health department, the director of Children Inc. and a leader at the local nonprofit Foundation for Youth.


Armed with this data, Selking spent many hours and late nights documenting various flows, including:

•    Preventative guidelines
•    Protocols for handling individuals confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19
•    Personal protective equipment guidelines
•    Cleaning guidelines
•    Communication plans and templates

Selking developed detailed flow charts and process maps for each scenario. The work was extensive and required careful interpretation and understanding of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. She partnered with Architect Veronica Franzese at the Community Education Coalition to translate the information into an actionable and easy-to-understand document. Within one week, they developed a comprehensive set of COVID-19 protocols for childcare facilities.

“Staci’s help has been invaluable,” said Kathy Oren, Executive Director of the Community Education Coalition. “We are incredibly grateful to Cummins and especially to Staci for sharing her time, talent and professional skills in support of our community’s emergency child care task force. Staci took this project on over and above her very full work schedule. We are truly grateful that Cummins responded immediately and offered one of their very talented belts for this project.”


Selking’s hard work could not have come at a better time. Sadly, a Children Inc. staff member soon tested positive for COVID-19. Thankfully, however, the facility immediately implemented the new protocols having done the advance work recommended. Instead of having to shut down the entire facility, only one of four wings had to be quarantined, protecting the children and child care professionals. 

The task force is now exploring the state-wide potential of Selking's work and how it can be distributed more broadly to other facilities in Indiana, such as prisons and nursing homes.

Anna Lintereur

Anna Lintereur is Chief of Staff and Communications Manager for Corporate Responsibility at Cummins Inc. She joined the company in 2010, serving in a variety of roles including global communications leader for Corporate Responsibility and project manager for the construction of Cummins’ Distribution Business headquarters in Indianapolis. Prior to joining Cummins, she worked for Irwin Financial Corporation for more than 12 years.

Cummins Chairman and CEO, Tom Linebarger speaks out following Derek Chauvin verdict

Cummins Chairman and CEO, Tom Linebarger speaks out following Derek Chauvin verdict

Many of us have followed the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was charged with murdering George Floyd in May 2020. While yesterday’s guilty verdict brings a measure of justice for Mr. Floyd’s family, it will not address ongoing systemic racism and violence against Black people across the U.S. 

This violence is an institutional problem and our communities are hurting. We are in the midst of a national reckoning on race, and the many events that led us here are deeply troubling and saddening. I am, however, hopeful that true change is coming. 

I am encouraged by the number of individuals, businesses and other organizations that have come together in the past year to break down barriers in the pursuit of racial equity. These are the priorities of our Cummins Advocating for Racial Equity (CARE) initiative- to enhance transparency and accountability in police governance, reduce the number of Blacks disproportionately affected by the criminal justice system, narrow the economic disparity of Blacks through dedicated investing in Black-owned businesses, and focus on sustainable revitalization of historically Black communities. 

There is still much work to be done. Advocacy efforts, private sector engagement and public discussions must continue in the pursuit of dismantling systems that disproportionately impact Blacks and creating safe communities. As I said last June, we need to work together to root out hate and replace it with a deep and abiding appreciation for diversity, inclusion and everyone’s humanity. 

Our longstanding commitment to civil rights and equity will be the basis of more permanent change. It starts with each of us and we must continue to speak up, speak out and take steps toward the change we want to see.  

Tom Linebarger Chairman and CEO

Tom Linebarger

Tom Linebarger became Chairman and CEO of Cummins Inc., the largest independent maker of diesel engines and related products in the world, on January 1, 2012.  Prior to becoming Chairman and CEO, he served as President and COO from 2008 to 2011, Executive Vice President and President, Power Generation Business from 2003 to 2008, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from 2000 to 2003, and Vice President, Supply Chain Management from 1998 to 2000.

"The right to vote is the essence of a democratic society"

people line up and wait to vote

Cummins supports the Business Roundtable’s recent statement on the importance of voting and we agree “the right to vote is the essence of a democratic society.”  

Tom Linebarger, Cummins Chairman and CEO
Tom Linebarger, Chairman and CEO, Cummins Inc. 

We are active in, and support, efforts to advance voter accessibility and to make this fundamental right more broadly available. We are stronger as a nation when more people vote and are engaged in the civic process. We believe efforts to restrict voting access are discriminatory, largely aimed at our Black and brown citizens, and have no place in the inclusive communities we are committed to building.  

We stand today as advocates for inclusion and equity, as we did in 1963 when our then CEO J. Irwin Miller supported Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington.

We have a proud and long history of advocacy for those who are marginalized and oppressed, and we will continue to speak out on their behalf. Diversity, equity and inclusion make our communities stronger and more vibrant. We call on elected officials – at the federal, state and local levels – to advance efforts to provide greater voting access. We also call on leaders of companies and communities in every state around the country to do their part to make it clear that we will not tolerate discriminatory voting practices.

Voting is a core civil rights issue, and we have been engaged in this battle far too long. We will not stop until voting is accessible to all people in our country. Anything less diminishes our democracy. 

Tom Linebarger Chairman and CEO

Tom Linebarger

Tom Linebarger became Chairman and CEO of Cummins Inc., the largest independent maker of diesel engines and related products in the world, on January 1, 2012.  Prior to becoming Chairman and CEO, he served as President and COO from 2008 to 2011, Executive Vice President and President, Power Generation Business from 2003 to 2008, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from 2000 to 2003, and Vice President, Supply Chain Management from 1998 to 2000.

Our diversity, our strength: Recognizing World Autism Day

Chris Sowers and his family recognize World Autism Day

To celebrate and bring awareness to World Autism Day on April 2, Chris Sowers, EBU Operational Engineering, shares his perspective on why this day is close to his heart and the importance of providing people with Autism Spectrum Disorder the tools they need to succeed in a truly diverse, equitable and inclusive environment.

It was a Sunday in February 2018 and my family and I were out having an early dinner before heading home to watch the big game. All three of our boys were excited, as they were just getting old enough to really enjoy big events like this. The waitress interrupted our chatter as she came to take our order. 

“So, who’s going to win tonight?” she asked, while collecting our menus. 

All of us gave our predictions. Well, all of us except our youngest son Gabe, who was eight years old at the time. “And what about you, young man? Who’s going to win?” she asked.

Gabe looked at her, puzzled. The rest of us tried to help. 

“Gabe tell her who’s going to win the Super Bowl tonight,” I prompted.  

“The Eagles or the Patriots?” my wife asked him. Gabe continued to stare, unsure how to respond.

Another employee was cleaning a nearby table, listening. 

“Hey buddy,” he said. “Who do you think is going to win tonight?” He placed special emphasis on the word, think.

“The Patriots,” Gabe immediately responded.

The man looked at me and winked. “Sometimes it’s all in how you ask the question,” he said.

It was a brilliant reminder for us. 

Like many people on the autism spectrum, Gabe often operates at his best when information is presented to him in a certain way. He’s extremely literal. He couldn’t possibly know who was going to win the game; that wasn’t the right question. But he sure could tell us who he thought was going to win. See the difference?

Asking the right question enabled him to fully engage in the conversation.

Gabe is blessed with some amazing superpowers. He can memorize all the dialogue from a 30-minute television show after just one viewing and repeats it nearly word-for-word several days later. He can tell you the make and model of every elevator in every hotel we’ve stayed in since he was four years old, not to mention which floor we stayed on. Along with a variety of other skills Gabe possesses, his attention to detail and ability to retain information is truly remarkable. 

But, to help unlock this information, you need to ask the right question.

As the dad of an autistic child, I want nothing more than for him to be happy, accepted for who he is and to have the opportunities to fulfill his incredible potential. I worry about his future and about him finding his place in the world. New information on Autism Spectrum Disorder only furthers this concern. Last year, the CDC published new data that approximately 1 in 54 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Additionally, 85% of adults on the autism spectrum are underemployed. That’s a tremendous amount of untapped potential and unutilized superpowers.  

I strongly believe there is a place in this world for these abilities. We need unique thinkers like my son Gabe to enable a truly diverse, equitable and inclusive environment. I see first-hand the difference it makes to give Gabe the tools he needs to be successful. 

At Cummins, we believe Diversity and Inclusion are about recognizing and valuing our differences and using those differences to deliver superior results. It's about genuinely valuing the perspectives and experiences of all people, not regardless of their differences but because of their differences. Diversity and Inclusion is an opportunity for advantage. I believe there is not only a place, but also a need for individuals with autism and other differences and disabilities to one day take their unique skills into the workforce.

I want Cummins to be a place where neurodivergence is encouraged to shine. I want all of us, across differences to have the opportunity to bring our full selves to work and contribute to our highest potential. That’s why I’ve gotten involved in our Inclusion of Neurodiversity initiative. Autism is just one of many elements of neurodiversity like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, dyspraxia, among others. At Cummins, we have a long and proud history of fostering diversity of thought, unique creativity, and innovation. Neurodiversity goes hand-in-hand with this history. 

We’re building the foundation of this initiative now, starting with the fundamentals and looking for ways to bring our workplace to a common understanding of what neurodiversity means and how it can manifest at work. From there we plan to launch projects aimed at increasing inclusion of our current and future neurodiverse workforce.  

For more information on autism and other elements of neurodiversity, please check out the following resources: 

Together we can make Cummins a truly neuro-inclusive environment and a great place to work, for everyone.

Chris Sowers

Joining Cummins in 2002, Chris now manages a group of engineers and team leaders responsible for power cylinder development on new engine programs.

Saluting the Black family throughout Black History Month

Saluting the Black family throughout Black History Month
"To celebrate Black History Month this year, I encourage you to honor your colleagues, your friends and your neighbors who make up Black families." - Carolyn Butler-Lee, pictured here with her husband, Larry, and their son, Solomon.

The following was authored by Carolyn Butler-Lee, Executive Director, Global Strategy - Diversity & Inclusion, Cummins Inc. 

When I hear the word family, I think about my husband Larry of 32 years and our 20-year-old son Solomon. I think about my mother who cherishes her garden and my father, a strong provider, who passed away 25 years ago. I think about my six siblings who are dispersed throughout the country. I think about my aunts and uncles who defy aging. I think about my gazillion cousins, nieces and nephews who make family reunions memorable.

This is my family.

For Black History Month this year, Cummins Black Network (CBN) – our Employee Resource Group (ERG) – adopted the national theme, "The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity."  This theme sparked me to humbly smile about my family – the potent ingredient that makes me who I am and who I can become. Unconditional love and unwavering loyalty define us.

That is my family. 

When I hear the word family, I also think more broadly about the Black American Family - proud, determined, resilient and challenged. The Black Family in America has suffered tremendously since slavery when families were first torn apart in Africa only to be further torn apart in America when repeatedly sold or traded. Today, over 150 years after emancipation, the Black family faces many struggles, lagging other racial and ethnic groups with respect to home ownership, health, education, wealth and employment, and outpacing others with respect to racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

My collective family struggles.

Carolyn Butler-Lee - Cummins Inc. - Black History Month 2021
"When I think about family...I think about my six siblings who are dispersed throughout the country." - Carolyn Butler-Lee

The Black Family persists even still. While it has taken on many new forms and shapes, the Black family has made more than due with what little has been provided, pivoting as needed to land further than projected.

Descendants of slaves have become leaders in every sector. Women-led households have nurtured presidents and vice presidents at the highest level. They also take care of home when Black men are incarcerated at rates significantly higher than all other groups. And this woman, two generations removed from enslavement, one of seven children, raised in a two-parent home in Milwaukee, stands tall today as a leader responsible for championing diversity, equity and inclusion for a global power company. I gain strength from my brave and courageous ancestors who survived unimaginable odds and created a foundation for me to thrive today.

My family has persevered

To celebrate Black History Month this year, I encourage you to honor your colleagues, your friends and your neighbors who make up Black Families. They are both deserving of our recognition for the past they have endured and of our support for their present and future contributions to our company, the communities we operate in and society.

This is what families do. 

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.

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