Caring for Our Associates

We believe caring for our people is an important step in empowering exceptional teams. From expanding diversity and inclusion training to our associates and communities to developing work environments that support health and safety, we work together to advance new solutions and create a better tomorrow for everyone.

Moving Toward Greater Inclusion

Applying the same continuous improvement principles that better our operations, we seek to become increasingly diverse and more inclusive each year. In 2019, we celebrated many milestones:

  • Committed to the CEO Pledge for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Recognized as a Forbes Best Mid-Size Employer, learn more here
  • Promoted complex diversity and inclusion conversations in trusted places, including celebrating the inclusion of women in the workforce and women in science, learn more here
  • Expanded unconscious bias training, learn more, including how we are expanding into Allyship training here
  • Shared diversity and inclusion best practices, including honoring outstanding inclusion leadership
  • Empowered exceptional talent by focusing on mentoring, diversity, and inclusion sponsorships and committing to community events, learn more here
  • Expanded our Associate networks, learn more here
  • Reported on our diversity and inclusion strategy to our Board of Directors

Advancing Our Safety Culture

We place safety at the forefront of our operations globally. Our Associate Code of Conduct sets forth that the health and safety of ourselves and our fellow associates is of paramount importance to everyone at Milliken. Every associate plays a vital role in our culture of safety, from plant managers to newly hired associates. Learn more on different Milliken associates’ perspectives on safety here.

One of our sustainability goals—striving for zero lost-time safety incidents—encourages us to raise the bar on our commitment to empowering associates to take ownership of our culture of safety. By empowering our associates to take ownership of our culture of safety, we see the most inspirational results. For example, when the stop-off mechanism on a yarn twister machine failed, Robert “Cotton” Webb, a Cushman Plant associate, presented a new braking system that, when installed, offered greater operational efficiency and improved safety. Learn more about Cotton Webb’s story here.

We also use third-party programs to elevate our safety procedures. The U.S. OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) recognizes employers who implement effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national averages. OSHA VPP is a rigorous process with an extensive application and onsite external evaluations. Facilities must recertify every three to five years to maintain their status. Learn more about Milliken’s efforts with OSHA VPP here.

Learn more on our approach to promoting safety, from Milliken’s Safety Director here.

Learn more about the safety tips that have been instrumental to our 30-year journey to achieve safety excellence here.

These tips all represent principles by which all associates can own and excel in safety.

Caring for Our Communities

Across Milliken, we are inspired by our associates' efforts to give back to their communities in ways that are meaningful to them. Their dedication propels our progress toward meeting our 2025 sustainability goal of logging 100,000 volunteer hours. To learn more about how we logged 15,055 hours in 2019, see our story on contributing to healthy eating in childhood, associate efforts around the holidays, or how we believe in the power of textiles to make a positive impact—which resulted in a partnership with The Love Quilt Project, an international charity that brings children in South Africa and the United States together using unique, custom-made quilts and financial assistance to fund the cost of schooling.

Progress Toward 2025 People Goals

Developing cutting-edge innovations begins with cared-for communities


Commit to an inclusive associate community

  • 2018 Baseline: 36% diverse managers
  • 2019: 39% diverse managers

ZERO data privacy breaches

  • 2018 Baseline: 0 breaches
  • 2019: 0 breaches

100,000 volunteer hours in our communities

  • 2018 Baseline: 3,446 hours
  • 2019: 15,055 hours

ZERO lost time safety incidents

  • 2018 Baseline: 25 lost time incidents
  • 2019: 14 lost time incidents

Review our GRI Index here.

People Highlights at a Glance

Expanding our certified healthier workplaces

Look inside our Well‑Certified San Francisco showroom, here.

Honoring our everyday champions

"Milliken Honors highlights the very best of Milliken—the everyday champions who live our company values as we work to make a positive impact on the world."

Halsey Cook, President and CEO, Milliken & Company

Learn more about the 2019 Milliken Honors winners here.

Increasing mental health awareness in a global workforce

At Milliken, we recognize the value of mental health awareness and offer unlimited access to employee assistance programs for associates and their families, regardless of benefits enrollment status.

Learn more here.

Diversifying our associate community

Learn more about our diverse associate community, here.

Providing community safety training

Through community safety training programs, Milliken associates can help pay it forward, sharing what we have learned over the course of our company history with the next generation. A safer community is a stronger community, and we are proud to play a small role in furthering this in the Upstate.

Learn more here.

Investing in communities

At Milliken, our commitment to making a positive global impact begins locally. We work hand in hand with our neighbors and community partners to support programs that enhance education, spur economic development, and protect natural resources.

Learn more here.