'All-Hands' Ceremony Held at Coast Guard Yard

Thursday, December 14, 2000
During an "All-Hands" celebration held at the Coast Guard Yard on Oct. 2, four members of the Maryland Congressional Delegation and the Coast Guard's Assistant Commandant for Systems presented three prestigious awards to the shipyard's work force. Employees of the yard, its tenants commands and invited guests numbered nearly 900 and enjoyed the mid-morning festivities on the parade grounds of the 101 year old shipyard in Baltimore, Md. The honors recognized outstanding achievements by Yard employees in the areas of government reinvention, environmental management, and maritime excellence. The ceremony opened with U.S. Senators Paul Sarbanes and Barbara Milkulski's presentation of the Vice President's Hammer Award to the Coast Guard Yard.

The Hammer Award is Vice President Al Gore's special recognition for teams of federal employees who have made significant contributions in support of the principles of the National Partnership for Reinventing Government.

The Yard's Hammer Award recognized the 49' BUSL, (Boat Utility Stern Loading) Production Team and Gainsharing Initiative, the latter permitted under the Yard's Reinvention Lab Status attained four years ago.

Early in the 49'BUSL construction program, the Yard designated a team of in-house experts to reengineer the project's production line in order to streamline time and cost of building the new work boats. The restructuring resulted in a simplified production of each successive boat. The key changes involved breaking down the construction sequence into 10 work modules per boat. Selected workers from a mix of trades stayed with their construction module as each BUSL boat passed through the assembly production line. The initiative resulted in improved production management as the team of experts repeated the learned task on consecutive BUSL's. Actual labor savings of over $1 million were realized, along with decreased production time.

With the success of the restructured BUSL production line, the Yard instituted gainsharing, a motivating technique used to encourage cost savings by rewarding employees for efficient work. The Coast Guard Yard is the first organization in the U.S. Coast Guard to successfully implement a gainsharing program. In the BUSL gainsharing initiative, the Yard's customer, the U.S. Coast Guard, received more than 90 percent of realized savings. The members of the BUSL team received a portion of the remaining savings. Ultimately, the U.S. taxpayer benefited in lower project costs. U.S. Congressman Ben Cardin presented the Yard's newly attained ISO 14001 Certification to members of the Yard Safety & Occupational Health Staff and Facilities Management Division. The Coast Guard Yard is the first organization in the U.S. Coast Guard and the first shipyard in the United States to achieve ISO 14001 Certification. The yard reached this success after completing an intense examination of its environmental management systems, a journey begun four years ago.

U.S. Congressman Robert Ehrlich and Rear Admiral Ronald Silva, Assistant Commandant for Systems, U.S. Coast Guard, bestowed the Coast Guard Unit Commendation of the employees of the Yard. The Coast Guard Unit Commendation recognizes the Yard for exceptional work performed during the period Sept. 1, 1997 through June 30, 1999. The timeframe highlight excellence in the areas of new construction, repair, renovation, ordnance overhauls, physical plant improvements and commemorates the Yard's 100th Anniversary last year.

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