HanesBrands’ Continuing Education Program for Employees is Transforming Lives in Central America and the Caribbean

More than 7,500 employees have taken advantage of high school and
college programs to improve their skills, support their families and
enrich their communities

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–When Felipa Benitez joined HanesBrands’ Honduras operations seven years
ago, she could not read or write. Today, the 34-year-old mother of two
is one of the latest HanesBrands employees to hold a new high school
diploma after participating in the company-sponsored continuing
education program

Felipa, a facilities assistant at Hanes’ corporate office in Villanueva,
Honduras, joined 150 of her colleagues last month to don robes and
celebrate all the pomp and circumstance of the country’s seventh and
latest graduation ceremony. Felipa is now continuing on to college.

“I am grateful for the support I received through the company’s
education program,” said Benitez, who received a college scholarship
during the graduation ceremony. “My life has completely changed.”

Since its inception in 2009, more than 2,000 HanesBrands employees in
Honduras, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic have earned high school
diplomas, more than 10 have earned college degrees, and another 1,500
are currently participating in high school, technical, college and even
post-graduate college programs. Many of these employees have secured
promotions or moved to higher-level roles within the company.

“Hanes has provided more than 250,000 hours of education to develop the
talent of its employees, support families and enrich the communities
where we operate in Central America and the Caribbean,” said Maria Elena
Sikaffy, vice president of human resources, Hanes Central America and
the Caribbean. “And the entrepreneurial spirit we recognize in our
employees has motivated us to continuing to invest in extending our
education programs.”

Benitez began her employee educational journey at a first-grade level
and studied for seven years to earn her high-school degree.

“From the moment I began the program, I decided to do my best so I could
set a good example for my daughter,” Benitez said. “I also wanted make
everyone who encouraged me – my family and coworkers – feel proud.”

The region’s employees also have access to technical training designed
to enhance their skills in textile manufacturing. Hanes opened the first
technical school of its kind in the region within its large El Salvador
Textiles fabric plant in 2014. In 2015, similar programs were launched
in two of the company’s plants in Honduras, and last year, Hanes opened
the first bleach-and-dye training center in the Dominican Republic.

Hanes is also supporting employees who have even greater aspirations by
developing higher-education programs in partnership with local
universities in El Salvador, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.

“Offering life-changing educational opportunities benefits both our
employees and our company,” said Eduardo Valerio, manager of
organizational development, Hanes Central America and the Caribbean, who
noted that Hanes offers employee discounts on college tuition and
scholarships to outstanding students.

For manager-level employees, the company introduced an International
Master of Business Administration (MBA) program in El Salvador, Honduras
and the Dominican Republic, which focuses on supply-chain management. It
was launched in partnership with the prestigious EUNCET Business School,
a center for higher education associated with the Polytechnic University
of Catalonia in Spain.

“This ambitious program, which includes classes in operational subjects
such as supply chain strategy, organizational vision and leadership
development, is a key part of the company’s competitive strategy,”
Valerio said. “Hanes is focused on remaining a highly competitive
company in the future, and that requires developing the next generation
of leaders today.”

The first class of MBA students graduated last July in El Salvador,
followed the next month by a graduating class in Honduras. About 80
managers have completed the program, and 40 are currently enrolled.

Hanes has been operating in Central America and the Caribbean for more
than 40 years, and currently has 30,000 employees in the region. The
company’s corporate social responsibility programs have been recognized
by the Honduran Foundation for Corporate Social Responsibility
(FUNDAHRSE), the Salvadoran Rotary Club, and the Mexican Center for
Philanthropy (CEMEFI). In 2015, The Great Place to Work Institute named
Hanes the third best multinational company to work for in Central
America and the Caribbean, the first apparel company to garner such an


HanesBrands, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., is a socially responsible
leading marketer of everyday basic innerwear and activewear apparel in
the Americas, Europe, Australia and Asia/Pacific under some of the
world’s strongest apparel brands, including Hanes, Champion, Playtex, DIM, Bali, Maidenform, Bonds, JMS/Just
My Size, L´eggs, Wonderbra, Nur Die/Nur Der, Lovable, Berlei, and Gear
for Sports.
The company sells T-shirts, bras, panties, shapewear,
underwear, socks, hosiery, and activewear produced in the company’s
low-cost global supply chain. A member of the S&P 500 stock index, Hanes
has approximately 70,000 employees in more than 40 countries and is
ranked No. 448 on the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest companies by
sales. Hanes takes pride in its strong reputation for ethical business
practices. The company is the only apparel producer to ever be honored
by the Great Place to Work Institute for its workplace practices in
Central America and the Caribbean, and is ranked No. 167 on the Forbes
magazine list of America’s Best Employers. For seven consecutive years,
Hanes has won the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star
sustained excellence/partner of the year award – the only apparel
company to earn sustained excellence honors. The company ranks No. 172
on Newsweek magazine’s green list of 500 largest U.S. companies for
environmental achievement. For more information about the company and
its corporate social responsibility initiatives, including
environmental, social compliance and community improvement achievements
go to www.Hanes.com/corporate,
and connect on Facebook (www.facebook.com/hanesbrandsinc)
and Twitter (@hanesbrands).


Carole Crosslin, 336-519-3201 (English)
Mora, 630-632-8107 (Spanish)