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In addition to our dedication to the SA8000 standard in our factories, we have taken the added step of training our Chinese factory workers and managers on various corporate social responsibility and personal-enrichment topics. Training and knowledge are vital to creating an empowered workforce and ensuring a positive working environment. We are hoping to expand these initiatives to other countries.

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Worker Training
Since 2002, we have partnered with Verité to provide training to our factory workforce in China. This training program helps workers develop the understanding and skills needed to participate in improving workplace conditions. Verité's staff and subject experts facilitate on-site workshops engaging our factory workers in interactive sessions on a variety of topics. Prior to each training session, workers are surveyed to discover the topics most important to them, such as China labor law and workplace health and safety. In addition, workers are asked to choose electives from the following training topics: Women's Reproductive Health and Personal Hygiene, Nutrition and Health, Interpersonal Relationships, Stress Management, Financial Management, Parenting, Marriage and Family Relationships.

The average worker in our factories has achieved a middle school education, so the workshops--especially those that cover basic health, hygiene and social skills--are the only way they receive essential information and practical tools for personal and professional development. Because we are also committed to educating workers about human trafficking and slavery, we made the topic a mandatory session in 2011. Our goal is for our workers to better understand their labor and human rights, as well as to be able to exercise those rights when needed.

Manager Training
Along with providing training for our factory workers, we have partnered with Verité and Social Accountability International to provide training workshops for our factory managers in China. In order to encourage collaboration, these trainings typically bring all managers to a single site in Shenzhen, China. The workshops cover subjects ranging from environmental sustainability to factory management systems to EILEEN FISHER workplace values. In 2011, we included human trafficking and slavery as a mandatory session for all managers (in addition to workers), focusing on the use of labor brokers and the importance of effective grievance systems. More recently we have used our management training program to cover issues such as transparency and creating a good workplace culture.

We are constantly striving to offer our factory managers high quality and engaging training that will inspire creativity, collaboration and greater capacity for managing social and environmental issues.