Yvonne Baker's first plastics industry role was with Arrow International/Teleflex Medical. She was interested in the industry as a way to help others by producing medical components. "Little did I know that I would later work for the company who supplied Teleflex Medical with specialized raw materials used for the injection molding."
At Teleflex Inc., she was given the opportunity to move to human resources. At Plastics Color Corp./Chroma Color Corp., as a human resources coordinator, she earned Associate Professional Human Resources certification and served as a board member with the Central Carolina Human Resources Professional Association.
"Currently in my role with Chroma Color, as environmental health and safety specialist, I recently earned the Manager of Environmental, Safety and Health Certificate Program sponsored by NCDOL [North Carolina Department of Labor], N.C. State [University] Industry Expansion Solutions and the Safety and Health Council of North Carolina," she said.
Baker provides direct environmental health and safety support to two Chroma Color facilities, drives improvements and best practices, resolves issues and more.
"I have been given many different opportunities during my career. I was able to grow and learn from the manufacturing process to continuous improvement, where I earned Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and learned the principle behind lean manufacturing. This training helped to enable several of my colleagues to become certified also, by coaching and assisting with their training," Baker said.
"Even though my furthest degree is high school, I've adjusted my learning and training based on the different paths that my career has taken me. This has allowed me to become a self-starter and become educated in lean manufacturing, human resources and currently with environmental health and safety," she added.
Baker said working in environmental health and safety gives her the ability to use all the different aspects of what she has learned throughout her career, teach others and provide a safer, more efficient way to perform jobs.
"During a safety roundtable meeting with team members from the production floor, we were discussing issues on the production floor and the company policies associated with the issues. With each issue, we discussed with OSHA standards, NFPA standards, along with NC DEQ standards. After the meeting, an employee stated that he understood that the policy had to be followed, but because of what was discussed in the safety roundtable, now he had a better understanding of why the issues are such a concern and why these need to be addressed," Baker said of her greatest achievement.