Investing in People
Our ability to maintain and grow manufacturing in the U.S. rests on our factory associates and their skills as craftsmen.
Moving Forward Together
We must create a safe and healthy work environment that fosters learning and development, advances sustainable business practices, operates with integrity and humanity and contributes to the health and wellbeing of our consumers and communities.
We know that our associates have always been our most valuable asset. For example, when lean thinking and work cells were introduced in 1987, associates were able to cross-train and take responsibility for the whole shoe assembly process. This greatly increased the opportunities for associates to build their skills and pursue varied career opportunities. Such a cross-training approach represents a fundamental belief held by our New Balance office and factory associates: our success is due to the associates we have along with our ability to consistently offer them opportunities to learn and grow.
The foundation of each of these responsible leadership goals is our people. This global movement is based on our company and our associates giving back, moving the environment forward and encouraging people to act as catalysts and coaches.
New Balance cares about the working conditions of the people who make our products, regardless of the country in which they work. We began addressing social compliance with our contract footwear suppliers in the late 1990s. In 2004, New Balance hired full time staff to develop and implement a program that, in 2006, expanded to include apparel, accessories and licensee products. Currently 10 full time members comprise the Social Compliance Team: two in the U.S., one in Hong Kong, one in Vietnam and six in China.
Our requirements are defined in the New Balance Supplier Code of Conduct. All U.S. and foreign suppliers and licensees must agree to adhere to our Code standards in order to do business with us. Like many other codes of conduct, the New Balance Supplier Code of Conduct is based upon standards laid out in the eight Core Conventions of the International Labor Organization. As a participating company in the Fair Labor Association (FLA), we have also committed to ensuring that our Code aligns with the FLA Code of Conduct.
We require our Code of Conduct be posted in the appropriate local languages at our supplier factories. Additionally, our supplier factories must post a labor law summary poster designed by New Balance. Each poster summarizes workers' rights under local law and provides phone numbers to report grievances, similar to posters required in U.S. workplaces
10 full time members comprise the international New Balance Social Compliance Team.
New Balance is committed to associate development and training because we realize that the growth and success of our associates form the backbone of our entire organization.
All of our development and learning programs are designed to help associates at each level of employment attain a distinct group of abilities that correspond to New Balance's leadership competencies.
New Balance associates receive up to 24 hours of continued job training every year.