VF Corporation launches apprenticeship program
VF Corporation announced on Tuesday the launch of a new corporate apprenticeship program for BIPOC students looking to build a career in the footwear industry.
Dubbed 'DiverCity x Design', the program launches in partnership with the Pensole Academy in Portland, Oregon, who developed an immersive curriculum for students, and VF-owned brands Timberland, Vans, and The North Face.
With a focus on providing students with the knowledge and experiences required to become well-rounded professional footwear designers, students will learn footwear design principles, product creation process, hands-on experience, professional development training and brand engagement.
The program includes three phases starting with 27 students attending a three-week online pre-program that challenges their personal and professional skills. Next, the brands will select 18 of those students to enter the eight-week Pensole Masterclass. At this point, students will be divided into three teams to present one capstone project that will develop their footwear and retail industry knowledge.
At the final stage, five top performing students will be selected to participate in a year-long rotational apprenticeship across each of the brands’ headquarters including Timberland (Stratham, NH), Vans (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and The North Face (Denver).
“This partnership is not only a great opportunity for us to work closely with creative students and provide them insight into what it's like to work at Vans but we are especially proud to support Pensole's important mission of growing the representation of Black creatives in the footwear industry,” said Mark Haskins, vice president of global footwear product design, Vans.
"DiverCity x Design is an amazing opportunity to reach consumers where they are and provide them a pathway into our industry unlike what they have been afforded before,” added Pensole founder D'Wayne Edwards.
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