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Helping Prepare the Workforce of the Future

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Helping Prepare the Workforce of the Future

March 8, 2017

VF Corporation Pattern Manager Robert Garner didn’t realize how much of an impact his presentation to students studying apparel design at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) would have.

The presentation, highlighting the evolution of 3-D product development and design, led to a unique partnership between VF and the school’s Department of Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies

The partnership, which launched this fall, provides students with a hands-on opportunity to learn state-of-the-art techniques and processes. VF’s Jeanswear division, which includes the Wrangler® and Lee® brands, announced that it has partnered with UNCG to bring innovative 3-D design technology to the school’s Department of Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies to help prepare students for careers in the apparel and retail industries.

“This is the way forward,” said Garner. “Many other companies use 3-D in the design and development process, and the same thing has happened in apparel. But, as we looked to hire, one thing we noticed is that students have limited exposure to this new technology. And with UNCG in our backyard, this new training also provides our organization with a pipeline of talent prepared for the demands of today’s marketplace.”

Browzwear, a specialist in 3-D simulation for the apparel and fashion industries, is providing the 3-D software at the center of the partnership. The software enables patternmakers and designers to mimic the real-life process of designing and developing products, and ultimately helps companies save time, money and resources.

“The software provides increased speed to market,” Garner said. “A month of design can now be completed in a week. We can make a virtual garment in a couple hours and immediately respond to a customer or retailer’s feedback.”

There are more than 300 undergraduate and graduate students in UNCG’s Department of Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies. VF has recently hired two interns from the school.

“Our partnership with VF gives our students tremendous opportunities to build on the many other technical competencies they learn in their coursework and gain a competitive advantage when they pursue their careers,” said Dr. Nancy Nelson Hodges, head of UNCG’s Department of Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies. “It’s really going to transform how we educate students. We’re proud to be part of this exciting project.” 

More information about the partnership is available here.