Key Takeaways

  • Milliken & Company’s people-centric approach emphasizes employee recognition, engagement, and development. This is exemplified by the Inspire program and Milliken Honors, which celebrate employee achievements and embody the company's values.
  • The company's digital transformation journey aims to improve productivity and safety. Examples include the use of AI for detecting flaws in textile production and implementing labor-saving devices developed by employees.
  • Milliken actively partners with local technical centers and community colleges to develop the workforce and address labor shortages in manufacturing.
  • The company is also exploring second chance programs, providing opportunities for individuals leaving the penal system to build careers at Milliken.
  • Milliken's commitment to sustainability, safety, and environmental responsibility reflects the company's core values and is a major contributor to its recognition as a Most Loved Workplace®.
  • Milliken encourages individuals with a curiosity for innovation and a passion for collaboration to join their team, as they believe in fostering an environment where everyone can contribute and grow.

Executive Summary

Hello and welcome back to The Leader Show With Lou Carter! Today, we are delighted to welcome Halsey Cook Jr., the CEO of Milliken & Company, a leader in the manufacturing industry with over 30 years of experience. On the agenda is Milliken & Company’s recognition as a Most Loved Workplace® and how the company created a strong culture through career development programs and team recognition initiatives. Halsey’s conversation with Lou also touches on the significance of being an employer people love working for and how it has impacted the company.

If you would like to nominate your company for the Most Loved Workplace® certification, be sure to visit our website and fill out the form. With that said, lets jump into today’s episode.

What Has The Most Loved Workplace® Certification Meant For Milliken & Company?

Cook explains that the Most Loved Workplace® certification is external recognition for the culture and values Milliken & Company has established over its 158-year history. As a fifth-generation family-owned business, Milliken’s foundation was built on solid values. When Halsey became CEO, he aimed to create a vision, purpose statement, and values that aligned with the company’s core business principles. 

Their purpose statement is: “Together, we strive to positively impact the world around us for generations to come”, and the five values they established are integrity, excellence, sustainability, innovation, and people. Halsey highlights that the other values depend on the people within the company to work together towards common goals. The external validation from Newsweek is meaningful to them, as it confirms that their efforts have paid off, and they see evidence in their business results and internal metrics.

Empowering Associates And Employees Through Professional Development Initiatives

Lou highlights the unique approach of the Most Loved Workplace® certification process, focusing on sentiment and emotion through peer and employee reviews. He asks Halsey about Milliken’s emphasis on team empowerment and career development in the manufacturing industry. In response, Halsey explains that they noticed a disparity in job satisfaction and engagement between their office and manufacturing environments, which led them to launch the “Together Empowering Associates in Manufacturing” (TEAM) initiative. This program aimed to improve communication, celebrate wins, create career paths for hourly production associates, and provide training on unconscious biases. 

Additionally, the AMP program, short for “Aspire to Management,” is another initiative implemented by Milliken & Company to create a career path for hourly production associates looking to move into management positions. This program addresses the feedback they received from associates who felt a lack of career progression, particularly for those with high school degrees. 

The AMP program provides these associates with opportunities that not only fosters career growth but also empowers associates by giving them a clear trajectory within the company. As a result, they have created a more inclusive and supportive work environment, ultimately benefiting both the associates and the company as a whole.

Fostering A Work Environment Of Authenticity, Diversity, And Inclusion

As the CEO, Halsey Cook recognized authenticity as a crucial component of Milliken’s approach to employee satisfaction. It is essential for organizations to listen to employees’ concerns, areas of dissatisfaction, and challenges they face in their jobs or relationships at work.

Rather than just focusing on processes and programs, Milliken also tries to maintain a human element in their initiatives. This includes hosting events like ice-cream socials to encourage people to come together, interact, and build camaraderie. The tone set by the leadership is one of openness and genuine interest in employees’ well-being.

By fostering an environment where employees feel heard, valued, and authentically engaged, Milliken has been able to create a positive work culture that resonates with its workforce. This combination of diversity, equality, and inclusion initiatives, along with authentic engagement and opportunities for social interaction, contributes to creating employees who are not just satisfied with their jobs but are also passionate advocates for the company.

Recognizing Contributions And Expressing Gratitude Through The Inspire And Milliken Honors Programs 

The Inspire program at Milliken is an app-based platform that allows employees to recognize and thank their colleagues for living the company values, such as excellence, integrity, and innovation. These electronic shout-outs can be accompanied by a $25 gift certificate for particularly exceptional actions. With over 7,000 thank-you messages shared in the past year, the program fosters a culture of peers recognizing peers and shouting them out for doing the right thing.

The Milliken Honors is an annual event resembling the Academy Awards, where employees are acknowledged for their adherence to company values through 16 awards. These awards focus on various areas, including innovation, diversity and inclusion, customer service, and environmental concerns. With hundreds of nominations and 126 award recipients, the event is CEO Halsey Cook’s favorite day of the year. The awards help operationalize the company’s values, turning them from abstract concepts into tangible actions and achievements.

Cook’s favorite award from this year was given to a team in LaGrange, Georgia, for developing labor-saving devices and digital solutions. This award highlights how Milliken empowers and recognizes its employees for their creative problem-solving and dedication to the company’s values.

Passionate Leaders And Engaged Employees Help To Drive Positive Change And Lead Innovation

Milliken’s digital transformation has led to innovation and improved employee satisfaction. The company has been successful in applying digital tools to existing lines, such as implementing labor-saving solutions and more efficient changeovers. Another example of innovation is the use of optical eyes and artificial intelligence to inspect cloth for flaws, ensuring high-quality products for their customers. This technology is part of Milliken’s new Apollo range.

These innovations have grown organically within the company, with passionate leaders testing and learning from new ideas that bubble up from employees. Milliken’s focus on facilitating and encouraging the best ideas helps to create a dynamic work environment. Halsey gives a shout-out to an associate named Sarah who shared her positive experience working at Milliken, highlighting that the company provides resources for employees to perform well, values their contributions, fosters enjoyable work relationships, and supports career development. Milliken strives to create this positivity across the entire organization, ensuring that employees feel engaged, valued, and empowered to innovate.

Bringing Manufacturing Back To The United States

Milliken’s focus on people and digital tools is crucial for the long-term success of manufacturing in the United States. As competition for manufacturing jobs increases with the expansion of major companies and distribution centers, it’s essential to create an attractive work environment and invest in employee development. Milliken has managed to close the gap in employment levels by working with technical centers, and community colleges, and implementing second-chance programs for individuals leaving the penal system.

To thrive in this competitive landscape, Milliken is also committed to advancing its digital capabilities. The company prioritizes digital tools that improve safety and efficiency, focusing on areas that can be unsafe or injury-prone, such as visual inspections around fast-moving lines of textiles or heavy lifting tasks. Milliken’s combination of people-centric initiatives and digital transformation efforts ensures that the company remains an attractive place to work and a leader in manufacturing innovation.

Join Miliken For It’s Innovation-Centric And People-First Culture

Finally, Halsey highlights the importance of a people-centric approach, innovation, and strong values in the company culture. To those considering joining Milliken, he emphasizes the need for curiosity, hard work, inclusivity, and a focus on collaboration to drive performance. Milliken offers an environment where employees are oriented and acclimated to the company culture, fostering a strong sense of teamwork and problem-solving.

Milliken is an innovation-driven company with an extensive technical community dedicated to finding better solutions to various problems. By being open to new ideas and fostering an inclusive environment, the company continues to grow and succeed. If you are interested in working at Milliken, you can find more information on their website or through their LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

Thank you for listening. 


Lou Carter : Hey everybody, welcome to another episode of The Leader Show. Really excited about this leader show. We have a CEO with over 30 years- we're at 30 years now Halsey, right- of experience, which is phenomenal. I mean, really, he's a veteran CEO. He is doing a fantastic job as CEO of Milliken & Company, really a leader in the manufacturing industry. We're gonna learn a lot about how he created this culture, how his company created this culture, the programs that they developed to become a Most Loved Workplace® , one of the top most loved workplaces, and certified as a Most Loved Workplace® , what it's meant to them and more really, what, what it is about his team principles. A lot to learn in this particular session. Really excited about it.

And the other thing too is, if you want to become a Most Loved Workplace, everybody out there, go ahead, get on most love, get certified because our registration is getting to the part where you could, you have a deadline. So you have to hurry to get to this deadline because we're all, we're all really excited about this year. We already have all of our global people in it,  all the surveys in, and the Pulse survey. So come on in. Get certified today. Here’s Halsey Cook, CEO of Milliken & Company, a phenomenal company, and a great CEO Halsey. Welcome to the Leader Show.

Halsey Cook: : Thank you, Lou. Thank you, Lou. And, I really appreciate the opportunity. Thank you to Newsweek for making this possible and, and also to Facebook and LinkedIn for streaming this to our associates and anybody interested all around the world. So,  I'm sure I'll have a number of our associates from Milliken on the line today. And just, you know, right up front, say thank you for everything you do, showing up every day at work to make this a great company. I can't take credit for that, I don't. It's what we do as a group of 7-8,000 people altogether every day. So thank you for that.

LC : Thanks, Halsey. That’s a great reminder is that we do have a lot of people here from Milliken & Company on the actual show, and you can place in your comments on LinkedIn and Facebook, something you wanna say to Halsey or we'll put it on the screen, we'll stream it here. And,  let's start with Most Loved Workplace, cuz I really want to know more about what that's meant to you and what that's meant to your company to become certified as one. How has that been working for you? How has it changed what you're doing already? You have someone talking here from, from Germany, so I'll put it on as we go. So what is that? [laughs] What does that mean for you?

HC : Great to see you people, thank you!

LC : A lot of great associates from your Most Loved Workplace®. Tell me what it's meant for you and how it’s impacted who you are, your culture and your company?

Building A Culture Of Purpose And Values [3:25]

HC : Yeah, I'll back up a little bit. It's been one of the funnest parts of my job is to see some external recognition for things that we set out to put in place, which we knew it mattered a lot, but we weren't going for the award. As you know, we can't make application for this award. It has to kind of happen organically, word of mouth, peer reviews. And so, the journey really started about five years ago when we decided to, well, let me back up. The journey really started 158 years ago when the company was founded by Seth Milliken in Maine as a general store. And we are now in our fifth generation of a family-owned business. And many of the Milliken family are on the board and still very much involved in the business.

But there, there was a foundation of great values inside the company. And when I came in as the CEO, I set out to do something that I hadn't had the opportunity to do in my career, which is to really lay the framework for a vision and purpose statement for the company, and then articulate some values that we wanted to make the company known for. And then on top of that, build a business strategy where everything lined up, where the products we were making with the way we treated each other and worked as teams. The way we went about realizing the strategy that we put in place was all in alignment. That there was no disconnect in the say, do you know who you are versus what you're doing type of thing. So we've tried to use that as a guiding principle and our purpose statement “together, we strive to positively impact the world around us for generations to come", speaks to the work that we think is important and has meaning. It speaks to the way we want to leave the world a better place than it is now. It speaks to,  the multi-generational aspects of privately held businesses.

And we articulated five values at the same time, Lou, that we  wanted to be the, the ‘how we are doing the work’ after we'd articulated that, ‘why we come to work’, those values were integrity, excellence, sustainability, innovation and people. And so I'll just rest there for a second on the people part of it, because what we realized was, is that all of those other values require the people to get them done. Integrity being the way you conduct business, what you do when people aren't looking, stopping if something doesn't feel right, speaking up, if something isn't right. Excellence coming from high-performing teams, innovations coming from curious minds making inspired solutions. And being a leader in sustainability, all that took people doing the right things day in, day out, working together towards common goals.

And so just, it's a, it's a long, long, I'd say prelude here to just a big thank you to Newsweek because this external validation, I think really tells us that we got it right. And so five years into this journey,  since we set that groundwork, we're really seeing evidence in the business results and in the actual metrics inside of our, our company. Whether it has to do with new product sales or the way we run our plants and the number of new green belts we have, the metrics we have, and the awards we get also in diversity and inclusion. That's what it means to us. I mean it's something that you work hard and, it's nice when you see the results that you came in a leadership position.

LC : It is great. You know, here's the thing, when we started Most Loved Workplace® , the most important aspect was that we looked at sentiment and emotion. That was the key. And you said it, you know, we look at it's peer review, it's employee review, it's different than any really many others out there. You went through the process, you proved it that your team program, that your programs that you put in place are indicative best practice for becoming a Most Loved Workplace® . And your employees obviously are showing it. They're saying, “Love being part of this team, two months in”. And “This is the best company I've known thus far, grateful to be part of Team Milliken”, “So proud”. You know, these are real sentiments, this is real sentiment, things people are saying, things that are, are genuine doesn't happen unless you get this genuine statements and they're positive sentiment and it is indicative of love. We actually show that using our tool.

So congratulations, Halsey on that. And what I wanted to know too, if we can dive into more of what you're doing. So we were talking a little bit before about how you are leading in the manufacturing industry and what that means for you as leader, what that means for you as, as a company too. And I thought to myself, well, how are you doing that within your own teams and the training tomorrow's leaders, the Milliken team together, empowering associates and manufacturing really gives that ability for your leaders to grow inside your company and advance their careers. Tell us more about team and how that's a big part of, really, what you do and being successful as a Most Loved Workplace®.

How Milliken Focuses On Team Empowerment And Career Development In The Manufacturing Industry [9:10]

HC : Yeah, you know, I've spent, I'm gonna say 80% or more of my career working in a manufacturing environment. And, I think one of the things you have to be careful of is that there's the, kind of the, the headquarters, office environment, which is off and separate and apart from the, the actual production environment. And, as we looked into our associate metrics around, virtually everything; retention, turnover, job satisfaction, engagement, which is a super important thing to keep in touch with. You know, how much people wanna show up and want to be part of what's going on. We saw in the early days of our programs that I've described kind of a divergence where it was happening a little bit more in the office environment. And so we were seeing progress on those metrics, but we were not seeing it in the manufacturing area.

And there was a moment, it was probably about three years ago, it was really, it was coming out of the pandemic because remember that during the pandemic, a lot of people started working from home. And most of our office associates did actually go and start working from home. But you know, plants don't run without people. And so we had to put up a lot of protective materials and, do testing and, it was a tough environment to be in the manufacturing arena. And for anyone on the team, who does work in our plants, again, I just wanna say thank you. The daily miracle of how we get all of this product out of 44 plants around the world never ceases to amaze me. And, so thank you for your efforts there.

But we came to a place where we we realized that life was tougher inside the plant in terms of dealing with Covid, you had to show up every day, and that we wanted to take some proactive steps. So we launched the team initiative, which is  “Together empowering associates in manufacturing”, and started to put a lot more emphasis on what was going on for, it's literally 80% of the associates in our company are working in our 44 plants around the world. So we moved forward with a lot of our communications and we put up digital signage, and we started celebrating the wins around the company. And especially during covid, we moved into PPE equipment with our textile and started making more chemical solutions for disinfection. And, and so we were very much engaged in trying to find the solutions for a lot of the challenges put to us during covid.

And so we started celebrating that system-wide. We put in place some career centers, because another piece of feedback we had was, is that we weren't seeing a career path. We had a different career path pattern that did not take you to management if you were an associate with a high school degree. So we started the AMP program, which gives us the ability for Aspire to Management. And so that's where the acronym comes from, Aspires to Management. And that is a pathway for our hourly production associates to get to management positions inside of the plant. And there was an awful lot of training done also around unconscious bias and the ways in which you behave can create situations in terms of communication and the teamwork on the floor.

So, I'd say the final thing was, is we really went in and found the folks that seemed most keen to move into leadership and started mentoring programs. And so we got a number of our up-and-comers, a mentor inside the company. So I'm kind of not doing complete service to the kind of the comprehensive nature of what we try to do and are still doing because this is a long journey. I don't know if it ever ends, because you're gonna have new people coming in and, we're gonna make acquisitions and have to integrate new plants and, tools will get better. But you know, we've really changed the life of our associates. All their data is available on the phone about being an associate, their benefits, their pay stubs. So we digitized an awful lot of what it meant to be an associate, and really started focusing on kind of the associate engagement and net promoter score, which is something we measure not only for our customers, but also for our customers. So, you know, we've got enthusiastic promoters for the company, but we also have detractors. So we look at those and try and analyze where we need to focus in order to,  make sure we've got a highly engaged and satisfied workforce.

LC : Yeah. And, and I see that, so how do you create employees who are raving fans, right? And that's really the, the key at Milliken is w what do you do to get either the right people in those positions because you, you offer so much. You have DEI  round tables, you have, you have Black History month, mental health and vet veterans transitioning a civilian life. I mean, you hit it all. You're doing it all, plus your career training, career development, you're literally in every single,  possible group that you could be in and helping all people and having in all different functions and demographics.

Authentic Employee Enagegment Using Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Initiatives At Milliken [15:07]

HC : Yeah. And Lou, you know what I'd add to that, there's also that aspect of that's been really important in our journey is is around trying to be authentic, because people can tell when you're just trying to get them to fill out the survey in the right way, and you've really gotta listen to what they're saying about areas of dissatisfaction or things that bother them, just the things that make it hard to do their job or troublesome relationships at work. But I guess what I'm saying is the tone of these is something that I really try and keep an eye on so that it doesn't become so programmatic and systematic and everything is around process. There's gotta be that human el element to it. And so I'm really proud of the team for coming up with some of the things. I'll have just an ice-cream social, some things just to get people out of their offices or off the line and come together and just be a team and have a little bit of social time together.

And those things seem to pay big dividends as well. So just wanted to raise that as if the tone from the top I'm really trying to set is that these are, you know, be authentic. Let's be real. Let's talk about what, what's really going on inside of our plants. And I think that's paid some dividends too.

LC : So let, let's go there. You know, the what's going inside the plants, this is very interesting. I'd love to get an example of from you for one of your favorites for Inspire or Milliken Honors is do you have any? An inspire is, by the way, just to give some context, these are, honorary ceremonies. They find the best people who are living the values of Milliken, people are doing the things,on the floor are doing the best possible at Milliken. So you could tell us, tell us a little bit more about Inspire Milliken Honors, and then let's dive into an example that you're particularly proud of, of somebody or somebody that won, that you think embodies really what Milliken Company does and how someone should be thinking about if they're applying to Milliken.

Halsey Shares His Favourite Example From The Milliken Honors Awards [17:24]

HC : Yeah. So Inspire is a program. It's actually an app-based program where if somebody does something that you say, ‘Hey, you know that's great, that's really, you are really living our values each and every day. That is excellence, that is integrity, you know, that is innovation.’ I'm gonna just go ahead and recognize them. And so it's an electronic shout out and everybody can see it. And there's a $25 gift certificate that could be awarded as well if they thought it was like particularly great. And it just empowers people to take the opportunity to say thank you in a little bit more formal way. And we've had 7,000 of those thank yous in the last year. So that you talk about trying to catch people doing the right thing, this is a great and simple and fast way to do that.

And then the Milliken Honors is an annual event. You know, it feels kind of like an Academy Awards, there's lights flying around and we give 16 awards, which again, are based on the values. So, there's the ‘Do the Right Thing’ award, there's an ‘Innovation Award’. There are awards around diversity and inclusion, definitely awards around innovation. And so to really put people up on a pedestal and give them an opportunity to walk up on stage and receive that award, it's turned into probably my favorite day of the year inside the company because people reach deep into the organization. You know, myself and my direct reports are not eligible for the awards just to give them. So we are really trying to get down to the team and integrated teams really working business problems and people who've demonstrated over multiple periods, multiple years, kind of the consistency around customer service or environmental concerns and  what they've achieved.

So we have hundreds of nominations. I think this year was over 300 nominations. And then we give the 16 awards. And just to kind of understand, there were actually 126 people received an award. So, the 16 awards have on average, a team of up to 10 people, and some of them are individuals. So what, we might have an award that could even be for a brand new startup of a new line in a plant. Could could it be 15 or 18 people who receive the award? And I just think they're really powerful because we talk about operationalizing our values, so it can't just be an idea. Sustainability just can't be an idea. It has to be a set of programs. 

And this gives us the opportunity to really give a shout out to people who have gone that extra step, whether it's around financial excellence, or whether it's around excellence in quality or an innovative new material that's gonna help save lives by being fire resistant. So those are, I would say that they're really the core of our recognition programs. And of course, in addition to that, we've got an awful lot of educational programs and, and other things we do, but in community service to try and keep people engaged. But I think that Honors Award has been really a special sauce inside the company. And it's a relatively new thing. I think five, seven years we've been doing that.

LC : For the Honors award. And I can go a little bit, I would like you to say more about your volunteer community service, like what that means for you and what that means for your company.

HC : Yes. You asked me for a favorite one? There was one thing we've been trying to get going. I'm sorry to cut you off, Lou, but I didn't answer your whole question. But there was an award given for some solutions that we put in place, which down in LaGrange, Georgia in our floor covering business, where they came up with some really nifty labor-saving devices and things that we've been on a digital journey for a few years now, and what I loved about this award was it didn't come as an idea from a central group that was driving an enterprise-wide digital program. They really facilitated it, but it came from the operators on the floor and some really great productivity and labor savings, which in this environment where we're all short of staff, was probably my favorite, favorite award of the year.

LC : So that's interesting. So the digital transformation, and you mentioned a new product line that was created through this too. Someone actually created a new line of 10 people. Tell me more about that. Cause it sounded like an innovation was created.

How Milliken Drives Innovation And Employee Satisfaction Through A Digital Transformation [22:31]

HC : Well, they're separate. The one I'm talking about was on an existing line, but it was the application of digital tools for a changeover and labor saving. And then there's another great example that we have where we've had inspection of our cloth using optical eyes and artificial intelligence to recognize flaws so that we can catch them before they go out to customers. And that is part of of a new range that we've put in place, the Apollo range. And so it's been happening very organically. We've got some key leaders who are passionate about it and, as these ideas bubble up, they are doing tests and learns, and then we try and put them out on broader scales to more instances and more plants. So that is something that I think has grown organically, and I think it's connected to this award in insofar as we're really trying to facilitate and get the best ideas coming out, and then give people a chance to try and, and make them real.

I actually was walking in thinking, what am I gonna say in this interview? And, obviously I've not run outta words so far, but I said, ‘Hey, Sarah,’ this associate's name was Sarah, and we had a meeting this morning and I said, ‘you know, do you think we really deserve this award? Is this the type of company that deserves this award? Do you, are you having that experience?’ And, and she said, ‘absolutely’. And I said, ‘why?’. And she said, ‘because I'm given the resources to try and do my job well. I make a contribution. That contribution is valued. I like the people I'm doing it with, and I feel like I'm developing my career.’ And I just thought, wow, I mean, isn't that the kind of place everybody wants to work? So what we're trying to do is to get that dynamic going everywhere in the company and letting the right and best ideas come up organically.

LC : That was a testament to our SPARK model at the end, its outcomes and giving the right resources and ability to do your job really well. And she spoke right to it right there and now, not just, I know if you asked more people than that, they'll give you that answer and more, they'll hit on all the model because the, if you look at each part of the model, they ranked you in each part. So you'll be able to see how indeed you are Most Loved Workplace® in areas that you did well on. So that's exciting to hear that. Really great to hear it. Very interesting. I like how you did that. I just wanna just give an accolade and what you did with the creation of customer zero, right? In finding through AI the kind of inefficiencies in the process that could be really useful for the entire industry.

The Importance Of Developing People And Digital Tools In Manufacturing For Long-Term Success [25:36]

HC : Yeah, well, and useful for us, I think we're just, it's the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we could do and gonna have to do. I mean, these jobs in manufacturing become, it becomes tougher and tougher. We have more and more competition. There's big distribution warehouses for large multinational distribution companies, Amazon and, and Walmart are entering the space with, million square foot or bigger warehouses and,rail s purs and huge logistics centers. And all of those things compete with manufacturing jobs. And, we're in the upstate of South Carolina, we're also in North Carolina and Georgia and many other places around the world. But the concentration of our manufacturing is really in the upstate of South Carolina. And this is the third fastest growing state in the country.

And this area has attracted big players in the automotive industry. BMW just announced their electrical vehicle plant's gonna be here in addition to their largest SUV plant in the world. We've got lots of people moving to the state. It's a long list of people that I could mention. And so we're gonna have to do it all. We're gonna have to be an attractive place to work. We're gonna have to develop the people we have. We've been running kind of chronically during covid it was almost 10% short of our desired employment levels now it's maybe 1%. So we have closed that gap. But you just don't see a lot of people moving into manufacturing. And so there's a lot of work to be done also with technical centers and the community colleges, and even working on second chance programs with a couple different people, people leaving penal system and, giving them the opportunity to have a career. So everybody's welcome in terms of trying to be a contributor.

In addition, we're gonna have to come up with a lot more digital tools, and we're focusing first on the unsafe and injury prone areas. So a visual inspection around a fast moving line of textiles can be a dangerous place. And then the heavy lifts on material. So it's the digital journey as well as the developmental journey, I think are the only way for manufacturing to really succeed long term in the US. 

LC : You hit on something important, Halsey, which was that you are not only going to attract talent now from manufacturing, you're gonna attract talent in all different industries. So, focusing on the digital and other aspects of manufacturing, certainly one way, what would you tell a person who is moving to your state or wants to move their state, your state, or even just somebody who lives across the country wants to work for you? Who should they be? First of all, who should these people be? Who wants to work for you? And what do you today, what do you wanna tell them about what, how they could be most successful?

Halsey Invites The Listeners To Join Milliken And A Culture Of Values [28:55]

HC : Well, I I'll just say if anybody's considering that please apply. We're anxious to have you and honored to have you consider Milliken as a great place to work. You know, it's an environment where we really do take the time to orient and acclimate people to our culture. We have a certain way of doing things in terms of being performance driven, but also team oriented, collaborating, working solutions, being open to things you haven't thought of. And so we're looking for that type of curiosity from people coming in about how we can make things better. We are fundamentally an innovation company as well, so we've got a large technical community that are constantly looking at problems and trying to figure out how there could be a better solution. So I think it's, it's part of our DNA to be open, hardworking, curious, and inclusive. And I think when you get that combination of things together anything's possible.

LC : Absolutely. We have people even saying just now, as Stacy just said, ‘join Team Milliken today, hashtag’, and she actually gave a website for that too. You can go on the website and look for working at Milliken. It's also on the LinkedIn on the comments, and it's on Facebook too. You'll see it on both. And it's been just a pleasure having you on today, Halsey, CEO of Milliken and Company and learning so much about everything that you do that is really people-centered, so people-centered and a great place of work for everyone really, who is interested in innovation, doing the right things, and having great values while they're doing it. Halsey, wonderful to meet you. Thank you so much for joining me on The Leader Show.

HC : It's been my pleasure, Lou, and  good luck. Love your series, and again, thank you to Newsweek, LinkedIn, and Facebook for making all this possible.