Since joining Colortech Inc. two years ago, Kayla Bailey has already amassed a list of numerous accomplishments. As a process improvement engineer, Bailey delivers new ideas and improvements successfully. She tackles projects to identify root causes of issues, then finds cost-effective, safe and quality-preserving solutions.
Bailey has implemented new onboarding practices to ensure a smoother transition for new employees, commissioned the Morristown, Tenn.-based colors and additives concentrates maker's largest twin-screw extrusion line in 2022, standardized quality procedures for newly commissioned finished product silos and built a data collection form for Colortech's air permit that is reported monthly to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
Bailey is currently working on developing standard operating conditions on a new line for experimental products and organizing and planning two additional extrusion lines coming soon.
She earned an associate degree in science from Pellissippi State Community College and a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. This is her first job in the plastics industry.
"I have always wanted to positively impact society, and I knew the plastics industry is actively evolving with innovative solutions. When I saw an open position at Colortech, I was eager to apply and be a part of the future of the plastics industry," she said.
Bailey was the first process improvement engineer at Colortech's Morristown location.
"I worked with various departments within our company and even with colleagues from our parent company in Germany on many improvement projects. This year, Colortech added a member to my department, and it has been rewarding watching it grow with the foundations I was privileged to help set," she said. "This experience has expanded my knowledge past what I studied in school and helped me grow as an engineering professional."
Bailey said she enjoys coordinating products in a collaborative environment and building relationships with different departments to reach solutions.
"As I continue growing as a professional engineer, I am realizing the importance of a supportive female network. I strive to be a woman in my company that other women feel comfortable seeking guidance and solitude from," Bailey said.
Colortech has started holding monthly gatherings for its women in STEM to promote that type of network, she said.
"Having this community in our company has improved the transition into manufacturing and the overall environment for our women colleagues," she said. "I'm looking forward to the expansion of this environment at Colortech and hopefully extending it to surrounding manufacturing companies in Morristown."