Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) is partnering with a local woman-owned manufacturing business to launch a new certification program.
GRCC is teaming up with Public Thread to create an industrial sewing certification program. Public Thread creates products such as duffle bags, face coverings, clothing, laptop sleeves and pet supplies by upcycling materials that are diverted from landfills.
“The new industrial sewing program is an example of how the community college partners with local employers to identify needs, then trains people to have skills leading to rewarding careers right here in West Michigan,” said Julie Parks, interim dean of GRCC’s school of workforce development. “Building a talented workforce creates opportunities for residents and strengthens our economy.”’
Students will learn about the sewing process, safety, ergonomics and how to operate commercial sewing machines used in a variety of industries, including automotive and furniture manufacturing. GRCC will provide the sewing machines, and Public Thread will provide the space and instructors.
“This partnership allows us to continue to not only do the work internally of upcycling materials. (It) allows us to train people who may have an interest in shifting their employment or career choices and become a pipeline between them and local manufacturers for employment,” said Lisa Knight, COO of Public Thread.