HanesBrands is preserving its employee continuing education program in Central America and the Caribbean during the COVID-19 pandemic by pivoting to remote learning.

The program, which has helped more than 2,700 employees earn high school diplomas and nearly 200 earn college degrees, has more than 700 employees in El Salvador, Honduras and the Dominican Republic studying virtually to complete high school degrees using the public education platforms in each country.

New courses are dedicated to coping with the COVID-19 environment, and new educational opportunities include an MBA program for manager-level employees.

“For more than a decade, we have successfully provided our employees one of the most sought-after resources – access to education,” said Maria Elena Sikaffy, HanesBrands’ vice president of human resources for supply chain operations in Central America and the Caribbean Basin where the company has more than 25,000 employees. “In spite of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to invest in our employees and support their desires to enhance their personal and professional development opportunities.”

To enable remote learning, the company’s organizational development team quickly established online support via chat, email and video calls to help employees complete assignments, clarify concepts and make progress toward their educational goals despite the challenges of COVID-19.

The company also added courses related to living and working during a pandemic. COVID-related courses include “Mental Health and Emotional Crisis,” “Creative Economy Management During Crisis,” and “Coaching and Leadership During COVID-19 Times.”

In addition to employees seeking high school graduation opportunities, the company-sponsored continuing education program has more than 1,000 employees taking virtual classes and certified training courses to improve their personal and professional skills.

Courses of study include an industrial engineering certificate that covers such topics as garment manufacturing, daily management, and human resources culture. Technical and vocational certifications also are offered in sewing, textile manufacturing and Lean Six Sigma. More than 4,000 employees have earned a certification diploma through technical training programs.

For manager-level employees, the company has introduced an international MBA program, which focuses on supply-chain management. It was launched in partnership with the Euncet Business School, a center for higher education associated with the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Spain.

Hanesbrands’s brands include Hanes, Champion, Bonds, Maidenform, DIM, Bali, Playtex, Bras N Things, Nur Die/Nur Der, Alternative, L’eggs, JMS/Just My Size, Lovable, Wonderbra, Berlei, and Gear for Sports.

Photo courtesy Hanesbrands