US apparel giant VF Corporation has begun a new long-term partnership with North Carolina State University to help drive industry-leading research, provide education opportunities for VF executives, and develop a pipeline of future talent for the company.

The multi-year agreement builds on the relationship between the two. Last year, the jeanswear division of VF partnered with the university to incorporate 3D design technology into its curriculum, to help prepare students for careers in the apparel and retail industries.

VF Corp to train students on 3D design technology

"VF is proud to partner with NC State University, one of the world's top universities and home to the only college in the United States devoted entirely to textiles," said Steve Rendle, chairman, president and CEO, VF. "Through our shared expertise in research and consumer insights, we aim to stimulate apparel innovation while also developing a consistent pipeline of exceptional leaders for our company."

Under the new agreement, NC State's Poole College of Management will offer its expertise in business analytics and supply chain management, adding structure to existing collaborations and creating new opportunities for students in both colleges.

Specifically, the collaboration will offer a variety of undergraduate and graduate education and training activities, including internships, student projects and competitions. It will also facilitate industry-leading research that will elevate apparel and textile products and experiences, and provide executive education opportunities for VF associates.

"With many College of Textiles alumni working and thriving at VF, we could not be more pleased to be building on our partnership," says David Hinks, dean at the College of Textiles. "The addition of VF on campus and the ability of students and faculty from both the College of Textiles and Poole College of Management to work shoulder-to-shoulder with VF personnel will bring new avenues to advance textiles, apparel and footwear."

A collaboration space will be created on campus where students, faculty and VF employees can come together to "solve challenges and accelerate innovation". More initiatives between the two are expected, going forward.