Ashland Corporate

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Lean Leader

Lean Leader

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Ashland LLC has an exciting opportunity for you to join our team as a Lean Leader.


**This position is located in Hopewell, VA.


The Ashland Hopewell site is a specialty chemicals plant with a heavy emphasis on chemistry.  We produce a variety of cellulose-based chemicals in 5 distinct operating plants.  Our varied products are used by a broad range of other industries including Paint & Coatings, Food, Pharmaceutical, Energy, and Construction.  This broad base provides many opportunities for growth.  In the Hopewell plant, there are many of the classic unit operations.  This includes Reactions, Distillation, Separations, Drying and Grinding. The Pilot Plant for Ashland cellulose-based products is also located at the Hopewell site.


Duties and Responsibilities include:

  • Help identify and prioritize continuous improvement opportunities in all areas of the plant
  • Lead continuous improvement projects using Lean and 6 Sigma tools and methods
  • Teach and coach others in the organization on lean thinking, methods and tools
  • Maintain and review overall plant lean metrics to insure the plant continues to improve
  • Transfer best practices learned in one area to all other applicable areas
  • Assist other Ashland facilities with Lean improvement efforts when possible and practical
  • Actively participates in area Safety team
  • Travel to / assist in transferring knowledge to other locations

**This job is based on a ladder structure and the job level (salary) will be determined by the quantity and quality of your experience.


Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Experience in business and technical knowledge
  • Experience in chemical manufacturing industry
  • Experience working in a management system based on the Toyota Production System
  • Experience planning and leading kaizen events
  • Experience in Unionized work environment
  • Formal Lean Leader or Six Sigma Black Belt training
  • Proven data analysis and problem-solving skills
  • Proven planning and organization skills
  • Strong desire to learn


Personal Traits:

  • Ability to inspire and generate enthusiasm for culture changing improvements
  • Ability to coach others to improve their lean skills
  • Ability to build trust and respect
  • Sound negotiating and people skills
  • Ability to lead and achieve improvements without direct or formal authority
  • Results oriented with strong team oriented interpersonal skills
  • Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously and work effectively in a matrix organization
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • High emotional intelligence with respect to organizational change

Basic Qualifications: 

  • A bachelor’s degree in: Engineering, Science, Business, Statistics, Computers or related fields and/or related experience plus education
  • Lean Leader I; 0-3 years lean or process improvement experience
  • Lean Leader II, III; 3+ years lean or process improvement experience
  • Ability to travel
  • Applicants must be authorized to work in the United States


TO APPLY FOR THIS POSITION, please select the Apply button. If no Apply button is provided, please visit Ashland's Career Center. Once there, enter job number 2017-6957 in the Keyword Search field to find this posting and apply on-line.


NOTE:  We do not accept resumes from external staffing agencies or independent recruiters for any of our openings unless we have a signed recruiting agreement in place to fill a specific position.


Ashland Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ASH) is a premier global specialty chemicals company serving customers in a wide range of consumer and industrial markets, including adhesives, architectural coatings, automotive, construction, energy, food and beverage, personal care and pharmaceutical. At Ashland, we are 6,000 passionate, tenacious solvers - from renowned scientists and research chemists to talented engineers and plant operators - who thrive on developing practical, innovative and elegant solutions to complex problems for customers in more than 100 countries. Ashland also maintains a controlling interest in Valvoline Inc. (NYSE: VVV), a premium consumer-branded lubricant supplier. Visit to learn more.


Ashland. always solving


We are passionate, tenacious, solvers who thrive on developing practical, innovative and elegant solutions to complex problems in applied chemistry, always pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, and advancing the competitiveness of our customers across diverse industries.


Our people—molecular scientists, chemists, process engineers, logisticians, research scientists, economists, analysts, compliance auditors, salespeople, safety experts and more—are distinguished by their ability to create and apply specialized chemistry in ways that enable customers to amplify the efficacy, refine the usability, add to the allure, ensure the integrity, and improve the profitability of their products and applications.


The Ashland Way


Our vision, mission, way and values are the foundation for what makes Ashland, Ashland. What we aspire to accomplish, how we work every day toward that vision, and the way that we do things are what give substance to the promises we make to each other, customers and investors.


Our vision is to make a better world by providing creative solutions through the application of specialty ingredients and materials.


Our mission is to develop practical, innovative, and elegant solutions to complex problems in applied chemistry, always pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, and advancing the competitiveness of our customers across diverse industries.


Our way is to respect, protect, and advance the people we work with, companies we serve, shareholders who invest in our future, communities we’re a part of, and planet we share.


Ashland is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Veterans/Disabled/Gender Identity/Sexual Orientation. 

Ashland is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability.


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