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Global Social Development
Verité Van Training
Most factory workers in India come from poor economic backgrounds and receive limited or no formal education. At Nordstrom, we recognize the importance of providing these workers with useful information they can share within their communities—from basic hygiene to labor law—and found partners who we can join with to help make a difference.
One of the ways we've been able to share this useful and important information is through our participation in the Verité Van Training program, which is designed to raise awareness of the practical concerns of big-city living for young factory workers from rural hometowns.
900 workers participate in mobile trainings
Between November 2010 and April 2011, Nordstrom worked with Verité, in partnership with the Association for Stimulating Know-how (ASK), to offer mobile trainings at five factories in India."The trainings helped to bridge gaps between administrative staff and workers." — Verité Van Training program participant Participating workers were chosen from all production areas and trained in an interactive setting. The training included real-world case studies to make the content more interesting and relevant. In total, the program provided fifteen hours of training at each factory and impacted more than 900 workers.
"The ASK-Verité trainers understand the culture and background of these workers," said Fachon Perry, social responsibility program manager for Nordstrom Product Group, which produces Nordstrom's private label merchandise. "This complements our approach to customer service in that we try to tailor our approach to individual needs to create a successful relationship."
From respect to savings accounts
Trainings focus on developing interpersonal relationships and teamwork, personal growth and self development, personal health/hygiene, HIV and STD awareness and basic financial management. Workers who have participated in the program mention that they've gained a better understanding of the importance of respecting and understanding other people's perspectives.
They also focused on how to improve communication and information-sharing, and they learned preventive measures for safety. Additionally, they left with more information on teamwork, delegation and helping coworkers in need, the right channels for addressing grievances and complaints and tips for saving money and starting savings accounts.
"The trainings helped to bridge gaps between administrative staff and workers," said one factory worker who participated in the program. "I enjoyed participating in the games and have increased confidence," said another worker.
Factory management found the trainings so beneficial that they are now including some of the same topics in their internal factory worker training curriculum. Nordstrom continues to partner with ASK and other organizations to provide similar trainings annually.
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