Around 1,500 Hondurans are to be trained in yarn spinning, knitting, dyeing and finishing, and apparel production, after North Carolina State University’s Wilson College of Textiles was awarded a two-year $2m grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to develop a technical textile training programme in Honduras.
USAID, through Hilando Oportunidades (spinning opportunities), is transforming the lives of Honduras’ youth by providing skills and training for careers in the textile industry.
The three higher education institutions, Wilson College, Gaston College and Catawba Valley Community College, are nationally recognised for their leadership in textiles innovation, research and education from the historic and current seat of the textile industry in North America, and the Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana (UNITEC), a leader in providing technical and engineering education in Honduras.
The project, led by Melissa Sharp, associate director of Zeis Textiles Extension (ZTE) in Wilson College, will deliver training to at least 1,500 Hondurans in yarn spinning, knitting, dyeing and finishing, and apparel production. Sharp says a key aspect of the programme is the development of trackable credentials that will empower workers in Honduras’ textile industry and expand the routes to advancement. Credentials will be issued through Credly and maintained by NC State, providing third-party evidence of skills and training attained through Hilando Oportunidades.
Wilson College of Textiles Dean David Hinks says: “Through Hilando Oportunidades, Wilson College and our partners have the rare opportunity to transform the lives of thousands of Hondurans by providing pathways to better employment and brighter futures while simultaneously enabling a sustainable regional textile supply chain with key allies that also drives economic prosperity here in North Carolina.”
In July Gildan announced it was closing its Honduras facility as part of wider plans to “balance its apparel sewing production” but insisted it was in no way linked to a tragic event on 24 June, where four union leaders and nine others, including a young child were killed in Choloma, Honduras.
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