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NCMEP Partner IES Delivers Customized Training Course to Support Global Safety Program


Founded in 1899, VF Corporation is the parent company to some of the most iconic brands in the world. It is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies that includes the likes of Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland® and Dickies®.

In all, the company owns 20+ brands, employs 50,000+ associates and operates in 150+ countries worldwide. Sustainability and responsibility are at VF’s core. Manufacturing more than 500 million units of product every year, they consider how, where and by whom those products are made, as well as the associated environmental, safety and social impacts.

The Challenge

In 2018, VF’s supply chain leadership team, in partnership with VF’s health and safety and factory compliance team, began the process of aligning and transforming their health and safety program. The expert teams got to work and laid out the new VF Governed Safety Program that consisted of culture enhancement, standards, implementation tools, KPI’s and verification audits. Every part of the safety program was to be based on a VF standard, which also dictated the audit protocol as the final verification of a successful program at a site. In addition, the teams wanted to develop a VF safety program certification course that could be used to align and develop everyone’s technical safety skills. The next challenge? Finding a trusted advisor who could develop the course.

Consistency in training ensures everyone understands the company’s safety policies and their role within the company. And, thanks to the professional work from NCMEP Partner IES, every employee and outsource partner sees the same material, hears the same messages and is tested in the same way.
— Kyle Cutsail, VP, Health and Safety

MEP's Role

In 2019, Kyle Cutsail, VF’s Vice President of Global Health and Safety began his search for that trusted advisor and landed on NC State’s Industry Expansion Solutions (IES), the administrator for NCMEP,  part of the MEP National Network™. An extension of the College of Engineering, IES is also home to the Southeastern OSHA Training Institute Education Center (SE OTIEC).

Over a period of six months, IES developed a customized, OSHA 30 Hour General Industry trainer course for VF that established consistent, baseline knowledge that could be transferred across the world, as well as issue certificates of completion to VF trainers. As part of their work, IES developed a tailored training agenda and outline of safety topics; trainer lesson plans that included slides and training activities for each topic; an instructor guide and a participant manual. In addition, IES trained the inaugural group of VF trainers for five days in Greensboro, North Carolina. Cutsail sat in on the class. “IES got it right. They spent a good amount of time understanding our business, the history of our safety journey, how we functioned and our aspiration for the future of the VF Governed Safety Program. This was evident in the course they delivered to our trainers,” said Cutsail.

Created January 30, 2021, Updated July 12, 2021