Black Belt Project Manager

Full-time, Ethylene & Sulfur Derivatives

Illinois, United States Apply Now Apply until: Open until further notice


About Nouryon
Nouryon Specialty Chemicals is world leader in the production of essential chemistry with operations in 80 countries and over 10,000 employees.  We invest approximately $120 million in RD&I every year, are #1 or #2 in 80% of our market segments, and we are ranked #1 in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
Here in North America, we have nearly 2,000 employees across 22 production, research and office sites, including the world’s largest fatty amines facility, located in Morris, IL. We are dedicated to providing industries worldwide with the materials they need to manufacture everyday essentials such as paper, plastics, detergents, personal care and hair styling products, as well as key ingredients for the construction, oil and gas, agricultural, mining and pharmaceutical sectors. Building on our long-standing commitment to safety, sustainability and open innovation, we have established a world-class business built on strong partnerships with our customers. The global headquarters for two of our core businesses – Surface Chemistry and Polymer Chemistry – are located in Chicago, and the region as a whole accounts for approximately one quarter of Specialty Chemicals’ annual worldwide revenue. For more information visit
With leading market positions and global brands, our Ethylene and Sulfur Derivatives Business Unit (BU) ensures that industries worldwide are supplied with quality ingredients: chemical intermediates and performance chemicals such as cellulosic specialties, chelates, ethylene amines, micronutrients, polysulfides and sulfur products.
BU Ethylene and Sulfur Derivatives has invested in developing a sustainable, long term culture of continuous improvement based on Lean Six Sigma (L6S) principles and methodology. Using this one global system that promotes eliminating waste and reducing variation, BU ESD aims to drive for stronger business performance every day.
Nouryon Ethylene and Sulfur Derivatives (ESD)- has an outstanding opportunity for a Black Belt Project Manager.  The Black Belt Project Managers go on site to lead complex improvement projects that have significant impact on the BU. They operate across business and functional lines to drive change and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of BU operations. They will typically work in their home regions but as required, will lead global projects. Projects vary in size but typically will be six to nine months in length with an average benefit in excess of €400k. Black Belts must be passionate about continuous improvement, be effective change agents, capable team leaders and able to effectively lead Lean Six Sigma projects in whatever environment or setting they are sent into.
Specific Tasks:
- Takes responsibility for leading teams in the execution of complex Lean Six Sigma projects in manufacturing and business sites that deliver benefits in excess of €400k. Will lead multiple projects simultaneously.
- Provides those working on the projects with a clear sense of direction, motivating and empowering them to initiative sustainable improvements to their current processes and work environments.  Builds teamwork through engagement and aligns team members by tying to individual and collective goals.

- Helps teams to understand, learn and use Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques for current and future purposes.

- Uses data and all sources of information to break down scenarios to root causes, to find patterns and relationships and to solve problems in a practical, permanent way.

- Maintains a customer focus and uses it to drive for improvement in the BU business and processes.

- Pushes for innovative improvements but understands the need for assessing risks and balancing relative to practicality and compliance. Challenges existing boundaries but does not compromise on legal or safety requirements.

- Works well in a pressurized environment, is a highly capable planner and can prioritize, both at work and to maintain a good work/life balance

- Travels to BU locations as required fulfilling their overall responsibilities. Travel may be required as much as three to four days per week in some weeks. Typically there will be two or three days per week overnight travel.

- Communicates about their activities including weekly Black Belt progress reports and quick win results, via articles about their projects and L6S subject matter for the BU and local newsletters.
- Is responsible to fully document the status of their active and closed projects then log all projects on the L6S Connect site. Acts as the key resource for rapid replication of their projects at other sites.
- Acts as a change agent in building a continuous improvement culture in the BU.
- Able to identify improvement opportunities and assist process owners in writing concise project charters to define the problem statement, desired future state and benefit to be achieved.
- Conducts Lean Six Sigma content based workshops and site audits as required to help sites improve their performance.
- Trains and coaches Brown Belts and Green Belts in the details of Lean Six Sigma and the successful execution of local projects. Works with them to help them reach certification.
- Assists in the education and training of the BU employee population, including supervisors and management on the fundamentals of Lean Six Sigma.
- Provide general support to the L6S organization and community.
- Provides assistance to the Master Black Belts, Program Operations Manager and Program Manager as required in developing curriculum and resource materials to improve and further build the L6S program in BU.
- Helps in the Black Belt recruitment process, answering questions from potential candidates and acting as community liaisons.
- Actively promotes L6S via presentations to groups, newsletter articles and participation in workshop and conferences (internal and external).
- Supports the Master Black Belts in realizing the goals of the L6S program.
- Supports the L6S Program  Manager, as required, to help grow and sustain the program.

Job Requirements

- Bachelor’s degree, preference for technical (engineering, chemistry)
- Master's degree a plus
- Minimum of five (5) years of experience leading improvement projects
- Experience in Process Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Maintenance or Supply Chain is preferred
- Solid awareness of business processes and financial analysis
- Passion for innovation, change and continuous improvement
- Able to impart knowledge to others and to learn quickly
- Proven ability to plan and prioritize work
- Good analytical skills and capacity for statistics
- Demonstrated high performance levels and ability to multi-task in a fast paced environment
- Team management skills and the capability to lead change
- Effective communicator
- Able to work effectively across different organizational levels, from operational to management
- Capable team leader

- Passion for change, continuous improvement

- Self-motivated, independent

- High self- confidence

- Ability to work with multiple cultures, countries, with many personality types

- Excellent communication skills, able to inspire others to work together and effectively

- Highly developed presentation skills

- Innovative, open minded, problem solver

- Active listener

- Highly organized

- Able to effectively interact with all levels in the organization

- Customer focused

- High integrity and responsible in actions

- Respects values, able to handle confidential information

- Strong computer skills (PowerPoint, Excel, Word, SharePoint, JMP)

- Fluent in English, verbal and written

- Willingness to travel as required, internationally and domestically; as much as 60%

- A combination of leadership and technical capabilities.
- Project management skills

- Team management skills

- Engaging public speaking skills

- Change management competence

- Analytical capability

- Statistical competence

Employment at Nouryon is contingent upon the successful completion of both a pre-employment background check and a drug screening.  In some case, pre-employment physicals may also be required
All candidates hired must be able to provide proper documentation of their eligibility to work in the US
Nouryon is an E-Verify Employer 
Nouryon is an Equal Opportunity Employer – Minorities / Females / Disabled / Veterans (M/F/D/V)

continuous improvement manager, process analyst, maintenance engineer, chemical engineer, logistics

Vacancy data
Closing date
Open until further notice
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North America
United States
Business unit
Ethylene & Sulfur Derivatives
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Hierarchy level
Full time/part time
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About Nouryon

We are a global specialty chemicals leader. Industries worldwide rely on our essential chemistry in the manufacture of everyday products such as paper, plastics, building materials, food, pharmaceuticals, and personal care items. Building on our nearly 400-year history, the dedication of our 10,000 employees, and our shared commitment to business growth, strong financial performance, safety, sustainability, and innovation, we have established a world-class business and built strong partnerships with our customers. We operate in over 80 countries around the world and our portfolio of industry-leading brands includes Eka, Dissolvine, Trigonox, and Berol.

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