Sole Education Grant is Back!

Sole Education Grant

The leading supplier of safety toe footwear is bringing back the Sole Education Grant for a second semester! Three students will be awarded $1000 in exchange for experience, insights, and ideas that will be featured in Saf-Gard’s blog.

After a successful pilot run this summer, where we awarded our first $1,000 grant to our selected student winner, Saf-Gard Safety Shoe Company decided to bring on another group of students, opening up the application nationwide.
The goal of the Sole Education Grant program is to have students explain and apply their growing knowledge of a particular trade industry, making them the experts on their given field of study for the Saf-Gard blog.

What is the Sole Education Grant?

The Sole Education Grant is an industry-based education grant, created for students who are just starting out in their field. Starting on October 14, 2019, Saf-Gard will follow three chosen students through their educational programs in pursuit of a future in their field.

Each week, the students will be asked to write a brief response to an industry-related topic that will not only showcase their knowledge on the subject but their experiences and skills in the field as well. Students will report their findings, which will be uploaded to the Saf-Gard blog.

Responses will be put into a weekly blog series that covers a theme that students are tasked with responding to. Content will be used to pull quotes from for social media as well as educational materials moving forward.

The chosen students will be rewarded for their participation in the program and completion of all 10 assignments with $1000 to help pay for the cost of their education.

Saf-Gard has opened up the application nationwide, giving even more skilled trades students the opportunity to participate in the program.

APPLY FOR THE SOLE EDUCATION GRANT TODAY

Follow along with our students’ progress here.
Learn more about the Generation T movement here.

Sole Education Week 2 : Shattering Stigmas

Sole Education Week 2: Shattering Stigmas

At this point, it is safe to say that we are all becoming increasingly aware of the skilled trades shortage that is coming our way. Decades of misrepresentation in pop culture and in high schools, coupled with shop classes being cut from public schools have led us to the skilled labor shortage.

There’s a lot of opportunity for growth and job security within the trades; however, they can carry a variety of stigmas. It’s dirty work. There’s no money to be made. It doesn’t require an education. It’s a male-dominated field.  You name it, we’ve all heard it.

This week, we asked Mikayla to talk about stigmas that she and other students face within her field, and what she is doing to combat them. Every field has them, so let’s learn about what Mikayla has noticed over the course of her education thus far.

As a female in a traditionally male-dominated industry, Mikayla chose to speak to her experiences as a woman entering the trades. Read on to learn about her experience and what she is doing to shatter the stigma:

Stigma:

Sole Education Week 2: Shattering Stigmas
This is a photo I took with my co-workers from Volvo Trucks. We had just finished a science fair at an elementary school for our Women in Engineering club. We took the day to teach young girls about the fields of science and how they relate back to building trucks.

“As a woman entering the male-dominated field of engineering, I knew I would have to face many stigmas throughout my degree and my career. When I walked into my first engineering class, I noticed I was the only female.

Despite this, I made sure that the men around me treated me no different.
Somehow, I felt a sense of confidence against the stigma of being a woman in engineering; I felt that I had to prove myself more than my male peers. This pushed me to study hard, excel as a leader in group projects, and be more outgoing.

Solution:

Due to my determination and perseverance, I graduated with my Associates in Engineering Technology at the top of my class. My achievements in school lead to me being offered a mechanical engineering internship at Volvo Trucks North America.

When people see me, they do not believe me when I say I want to be an engineer. This makes me think about the phrase, “shattering the glass ceiling” and wonder if there is any validity to it today.

Personally, I believe that the glass ceiling has not been even cracked. With my degree and career, I hope to help drive the wrecking ball into that glass ceiling for good.

Follow along with our students’ progress here.
Learn more about the Generation T movement here.

APPLY FOR THE SOLE EDUCATION GRANT TODAY

Sole Education Week 1: Introduction

Sole Education - Meet the Student

We are thrilled to launch our first-ever Sole Education program! Over the next few months, we will be learning more about our student’s skilled trades program through their experiences and blog entries.

The Sole Education Grant is an industry-based education grant sponsored by Saf-Gard Safety Shoe Company. It is for students who are just starting out in the trades.

Over the next several weeks, we will be working with Mikayla, a rising Mechanical Engineering Technology student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

She will be covering topics related to her industry and hopefully inspire others to learn more about opportunities in the skilled trades as well.

Let’s learn more about her:

“Hey everyone, my name is Mikayla. I grew up in a small town outside of New Haven, CT but moved to Greensboro, NC, with my family in the summer of 2014.Saf-Gard Sole Education Mikayla

I recently received my Associates in Engineering Technology from GTCC, and I will be continuing my education this fall at UNC Charlotte where I plan to earn a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. With my degree, I plan on making a career for myself in Plastics Technology as a Project Engineer.

While at GTCC, I’ve fallen in love with the world of technology and engineering design. I’ve excelled in courses involving math and science and was praised for my leadership skills during group STEM (short for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) activities.

Outside of school, I am a Mechanical Engineering Intern for Volvo Trucks North America.  I consider myself hardworking, disciplined, and creative when it comes to my education and future career.”

We can’t wait to learn more about Mechanical Engineering this summer with Mikayla, and see what the summer holds!

Follow along with our students’ progress here.
Learn more about the Generation T movement here.

APPLY FOR THE SOLE EDUCATION GRANT TODAY

What is a Shoemobile?

What is a Shoemobile?

What’s better than a store full of over 1,600 pairs of safety shoes? A store full of over 1,600 safety shoes….on wheels. You may have heard about our shoemobiles, or even seen one driving around or parked near your place of work before, but what really goes on inside these shoe stores on wheels? Here’s exactly what you can expect each time you visit one of our 46 shoemobiles.

Our shoemobiles truly are a safety shoe retail store on wheels.

Our shoemobiles are always stocked with a minimum of 1,600 pairs of safety shoes, so there’s plenty for you to choose from! When you first step foot into a Saf-Gard shoemobile, you’ll be greeted by one of our Mobile Store Managers, ready to fit you for your new pair of safety shoes. You’ll be asked about the environment that you work within and what kind of safety shoe you’re looking for specifically.

Decisions, decisions

After learning a little bit about you, our safety shoe expert will give you a few options that he or she feels will best fit your needs. You’ll be able to select the brand and color of your safety shoe, and then our Saf-Gard employee will size you and give you a pair to try on. It’s like your own personal shoe assistant, except it’s on wheels, so it’s a lot cooler.

If the Shoe Fits…

Once you have the shoes on, our expert will quickly work with you to ensure that the shoes fit your feet perfectly. No one wants to be sized incorrectly and end up with shoes that pinch or rub the wrong way, so we take great care in this step of the process. The last thing we want is for you to work an eight-hour shift the next day cursing us and our shoemobile by the end of it, so we make sure that the shoe is a perfect fit!

After you’ve found the perfect pair of safety shoes, all you need to do is sign and pay for them. Congratulations! You’re the proud owner of a brand new pair of safety shoes. You’ll be thanked by our Saf-Gard employee and then you’ll be on your way out the door. It’s as easy as that! So the next time you see one of our shoemobiles parked near you, make sure to stop by and check it out. Trust us, they’re awesome.

We are always ready and willing to help you come up with the best selection possible for your employees.

Want to learn more about our Shoemobiles? Click here.

Encouraging Employee Compliance

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!

In order for your employees to follow the parameters of your company’s shoe program and make sure that they are up-to-date on their safety toe shoes, it is important to make sure that they know why the shoe program is being implemented, to begin with. Communicate with them about why it is so crucial that they comply. Inform your company about workplace dangers, and discuss how to identify and prevent them to create an environment of caution and an all-important culture of safety.

Lastly, educate them on what their shoe program offerings are. This could cover anything from approved styles to special corporate pricing, to whether or not they are approved for payroll deduction or subsidy and other important aspects of their new shoe program.

The Simpler, the Better

To ensure maximum participation and the highest rate of success within your company when it comes to employees following safety shoe guidelines, implement a subsidized corporate shoe program or a payroll deduction program. By implementing a simple program such as these, it is more likely that employees will have a more difficult time finding an excuse to not participate than to participate.

Ensure Maximum Style

Fact: No one wants to wear ugly safety shoes. Create a sense of unity among your staff by outfitting them in uniforms and allowing them to pick from a range of options when it comes to their safety toe footwear. When employees are required to wear uniforms to work, they feel a sense of equality amongst others due to uniforms eliminating competition, and are more apt to feel instilled with a sense of belonging and loyalty to the company. SR Max® offers an exceptional selection of over 200 styles from 14 different name brands that employees are familiar with and actually want to wear. When your associates genuinely like the shoes that they are required to wear, they are far more likely to stay compliant with your corporate shoe program.

Convey Positive Reinforcement

By choosing to give positive reinforcement for employees that choose to follow the parameters of the shoe program for your company, you are giving not only your employees a pat on the back, but you are giving yourself as the employer one as well for choosing to implement a safety shoe program. Positive reinforcement can go a long way towards ensuring that your priorities and goals for your shoe program are met. Give your employees who consistently follow the rules some recognition and rewards in response to their high level of compliance. If you incentivize your workforce with a thought-out system of rewards and bonuses, new programs such as a safety toe shoe program will always prove to integrate themselves smoothly. For employees who choose to disregard the rules and do what they want, a measure of accountability must be created. At some point, progressive discipline has to be enacted and in the long run, if no disciplinary measures are taken, the problem itself will continue.

For more information and questions regarding corporate shoe programs, please reach out to one of Saf-Gard’sTM Territory Sales Managers.

Safety Shoes Don’t Just Mean Safety Boots

Article by Emily Bennett

One of the most important things we have to consider when we’re at work is safety. It’s not just our boss’ job to make sure that the workplace is safe and free of any sort of hazard, but it’s also our job as employees to make sure that we’re protecting ourselves and putting our best foot forward (literally).

Depending on the line of work that you’re in,  it’s required that safety footwear is worn in the form of a steel toe, composite toe, or alloy toe boots and shoes to make sure that you’re protected against any type of probable hazard. Lots of times we find ourselves complaining about our safety boots feeling too bulky, too hot on our feet, or just plain uncomfortable. You may not even like the look of your work safety boots just because you don’t like the style.

There happens to be a solution to your problem, and trust us, it’s simpler than you might think…

Why not give a pair of safety shoes a try instead? They give you all the protection that safety boots do and they don’t resemble your typical safety shoe. Here are our top five safety shoe styles that aren’t boots.

  • Keens Atlanta Steel Toe Hiker: This classic looking low-cut hiking shoe is one of our most favored non-boot styles. With its Electrostatic Dissipative (ESD) component to cut down on excess static electricity coupled with its oil and slip resistant outsole and steel toe protection, you’ll be just as protected as you would be in your heavy-duty work boots.

 

  • Skechers Alloy Toe Athletic: In this pair of Skechers you can get the same protection that you get from a safety boot, all while looking sharp on the job. They give you a maximum amount of comfort with their memory-foam insoles, slip-resistant outsoles for messy situations, and are fully decked out in the toe with Aluminum, ready to protect at a moment’s notice.

 

  • Timberland PRO Newbury: This popular women’s style is a great choice when it comes to a nice looking dress safety shoe. It’s built with an alloy toe, made to protect and cut down on excess static electricity with its ESD component, has a slip resistant outsole, and will provide you with maximum comfort throughout the day with its anti-fatigue footbed.

 

  • Rockport Works Steel Toe Sailing Shoe: This pair of shoes is the farthest thing from your regular looking steel-toed shoe. Not only is it strong looking, but it has a slip-resistant sole to it, protects against any type of electrical hazard, and they’re even decked out with steel in the toe to save your foot if something were to happen.

 

  • Dr. Martens Steel Toe Oxford: This popular style of Dr. Martens is a mighty fine choice when you’re looking for a low-cut oxford style safety shoe. On top of it containing the Dr. Martens Air Cushioned sole, it’s also slip resistant and is capable of cutting down on excess static electricity with its ESD component.

So what’s holding you back from a pair of safety toe shoes now? Go ahead and broaden your horizons the next time you go shopping for a new pair of work shoes. You may just find your new favorite pair.

For more information on safety footwear, be sure to check out our website www.safgard.com.