Tailoring a Winslow-Based Workforce for Industrial Sewing Needs

Moonshot connects the pilot program with a tapestry of collaborators.

From balloons to backpacks, shower curtains to parachutes, shades to spacesuits, the world needs people who can sew. The aerospace and hospitality industries, the U.S. military and outdoor furniture companies are among the companies seeking a workforce with sewing skills, and a moonshot of NACET’s Arizona Stitch Lab shows that Winslow has that skill set. We believe that it is a place to utilize and nurture.

“We are launching a pilot project to see if we can implement a sewing program in northern Arizona,” said Scott Hascock, president and CEO of Moonshot. . “It focuses on developing skilled workers for companies in need of entrepreneurial talent for industrial sewerage and garment sector products.”

Using funding from a USDA grant, Moonshot is partnering with the City of Winslow to hold an open house Saturday, May 13 at the Winslow Council On Aging Active Adult Community Center at 212 E. 2nd St. is scheduled to be held. , describes the project and recruits participants for a six-week basic industrial sewing skills course starting in June. Haskock, in partnership with the city of Tucson and the Pasqua Yaki Tribe, was inspired by the success of a similar Moonshot program currently underway in Tucson, and is in over-demand.

Winslow Economic Development Director Una Wilkebau is similarly inspired. Currently, there is growing interest in the area from land developers, manufacturers and businesses, she said, adding that having a trained and skilled workforce with commercial sewing skills will attract more employers. We believe that it will be a valuable asset in attracting She takes note of the high unemployment rate in Navajo County and the Navajo Nation, and believes this effort could create lasting change.

“There is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to develop these skills and go into business,” she said. “With an industrial sewing machine, you can start your own business or work from home. We believe it will have a multi-generational impact on families with sexuality.”

Wilkebau shares with Moonshot its vision of a locally grown workforce, using Arizona cotton and becoming a hub for sewing needs around the world. An empty Winslow textile warehouse, known locally as the ‘Hat Factory’, could be part of it, she said. “There is enough work out there that could easily fill the spot if someone had the passion to make it happen. We are on Interstate 40 and have a train stop.”

Stephanie Pierotti is the Executive Director of Moonshot’s Arizona Stitch Lab. “There is a gap in the skilled labor market and this is a national challenge,” she said. “I was surprised to learn that industrial sewing skills were sorely needed. We have made Arizona the center of the garment industry, with a skilled workforce in Arizona and jobs coming from all over the country and around the world. We want to spread awareness that we can handle it.”

Pierotti said working with Tucson’s Pasqua Yaki tribe is a great fit. “Sewing is part of Arizona’s indigenous culture, and this program raises awareness of how valuable and marketable that skill is. I’m discovering a lot of jobs that require sewerage, and a lot of that work is now being sent overseas.”

The Tucson program led to Erica Yngve staying as a moonshot entrepreneur. Moonshot Her team works with Yngve to take home sewing skills to industrial sewing skills for higher-paying jobs, help launch garment companies, and unlock opportunities for small-batch manufacturing. created a curriculum to create and build a statewide database of sewing talent.

Similarly, Moonshot works with Red Thread Sewing founder Tina Lachance, who has been a full-time seamstress in Flagstaff since 2007. She becomes a practical instructor for the Winslow Program. “The demand for sewing skills is very high. Every time I make a transition in the sewing industry, I don’t have enough people to help me,” said Ms. Lachansu. “The industry needs an experienced industrial sewer.

LaChance is working with Overland Campers, a local company that creates outdoor pop-up mobile habitats. She says she learned her sewing skills from her mother when she was in her Girl Scouts. “When I was in high school, I used to buy old pants from thrift stores and make bags for other people. I met an amazing woman I started making curtains for people Before 2007 I had a job doing embroidery and alterations Sewing was really important to my life I ,had experienced quite a few health concerns and problems that prevented them from getting a steady job.Sewing jobs filled the income gap.Overheads are very low compared to other industries.Maintaining these machines And by maintaining it, I was able to keep my livelihood and income fluid.Sewing can be a stable source of income for everyone.”

Pierotti sees this pilot project as an exciting opportunity to raise awareness about upskilling opportunities in professions with the potential to generate six-figure salaries, such as digital patternmaking and 3D modeling. For more information, please visit: azstitchlab.org. FBNMore

Bonnie Stevens, FBN

Photo courtesy of Jake Mattix: Tina Lachance, owner of Red Thread Sewing, says her sewing skills have helped her throughout her career. She will be an instructor for the pilot program at the Arizona Stitch Lab in Winslow next month.

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