LS&Co. Employee Service Corps Program Continues to Grow

Levi Strauss & Co.
April 5, 2017

Since 2015, we’ve connected employees from across the company with the workers in our supply chain around the globe.

The LS&Co. Service Corps is an immersion program for a select group of employees to see our Worker Well-being intiaitive in action, and to experience what life is like for apparel workers outside of the factory walls. It’s a unique opportunity for employees to see how our profits-through-principles approach to business fuels our commitment to improving the lives of the people who make our products.

This month, ten employees are heading to Mexico as part of the fourth Service Corps trip. Past visits have included visits to Haiti, Cambodia and Sri Lanka.

“As a decision maker in a multi-billion dollar company, we have a great responsibility to understand the impact of our decisions,” past participant John Prendergast, who went to Haiti, said of his trip at the time. “The more context we have to make those decisions, the better we can steer the course of the company, in a way that aligns with our values.”

Service Corps participants in the upcoming trip to Mexico will get a firsthand look at the beginning stages of the Worker Well-being initiative there, which is just getting off the ground. The Worker Well-being initiative is currently implemented 12 countries, reaching nearly 100,000 workers. By 2020, our goal is for Worker Well-being to benefit more than 200,000 apparel workers globally covering 80% of LS&Co. product volume. The initiative focuses on financial empowerment, health and family well-being, and equality and acceptance. LS&CO. collaborates with its suppliers and local service providers to implement programs in these areas, based on the specific needs the workers themselves identify in surveys.

To gain a better understanding of what life is like for the workers, Service Corps participants have a unique opportunity to interview and profile apparel workers – learning about their role, their aspirations and their home life. It’s a chance to connect on a personal level with the people behind our products.

Participants will also go through a Project WET training alongside factory workers and local school teachers. Together they will take what they learn and teach over 300 children in the local community about the importance of clean water.

“Whether directly or indirectly, everything our employees do day in and day out at LS&Co. has social and environmental sustainability woven into it. The LS&Co. Service Corps program ties all of these pieces together, giving employees a unique opportunity to see our innovative programs in action,” said Alexis Bechtol, who manages the program. “They come back to their desks more engaged, thinking about how the decisions they make have a direct impact on the people in our supply chain. It’s an incredible program for some of our most engaged employees from around the world.”