InTents April/May 2022 - 40

business | tips and techniques
Textile training
Gaston College helping to develop new workforce.
by Jean Feingold
T
Finding talent
Whether a supplier or an installer,
fi nding the right members for your
team is a top challenge.
Partnering with a local college or
high school can offer a great solution
to developing talent, whether it be
through formal education programs,
apprenticeships or in-house training.
he Textile Technology Center (TTC)
at Gaston College in Belmont, N.C.,
formally known as the North Carolina
Center for Applied Textile Technology,
was founded in 1943 to offer certiicates,
diplomas and trade degrees for the
textile disciplines. Its degree programs
stopped in the early 2000s after several
textile manufacturers left the U.S. In
late 2020, the college's president and
faculty decided to relaunch an associate
textile technology degree to support the
resurgent industry.
Located in the heart of U.S. textile
manufacturing, Gaston College offers
a variety of textiles technology training
programs. These include a textiles
technology associate in applied science
(AAS) degree as well as customized
training courses on speciic topics and
machines. Four concentrations are offered
in the two-year degree program:
design, general, textile management and
textile technician.
" From general, technician, design/
fashion or management, each student
will be able to ind the perfect program, "
says Jasmine Cox, director of textile technology
programs and business innovation
at Gaston College. All degree tracks
share some core textile courses while offering
different electives.
All students get hands-on training
with the same machines used in textile
manufacturing plants. Laboratory curriculum
content relies heavily on the
Manufacturing and Textile Innovation
40 intents april-may 2022
Network (MTIN), a partnership between
the TTC at Gaston College and the
Manufacturing Solutions Center (MSC)
at Catawba Valley Community College
(CVCC) in Hickory, N.C.
" Combined, the two centers offer a total
of 12 unique labs and process areas
where students can shadow experienced
technicians and practice hands-on skills "
after completing one year of courses, Cox
says. Grant funding and donations from
local industry partners have enabled the
schools to obtain unique lab-scale equipment
for use solely in student laboratories
to support classroom studies.
Not just traditional
high school graduates
Some students begin their studies at
Gaston College having already earned several
college credits through high school
Career and College Promise (CCP) courses
as well as career and technical education
(CTE). Along with full-time students who
attend straight out of high school, Gaston
College welcomes adult learners and students
who work full time, often in the textiles
industry, who take courses at a pace
conducive to their success.
They may include people " currently
employed as machine operators in need
of advancement, " says Cox. " Obtaining
a degree in textile technology will allow
qualiied students to transition into supervisory
roles. "
Those not seeking a degree can take
customized training courses offered on

InTents April/May 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of InTents April/May 2022

InTents April/May 2022 - Cover1
InTents April/May 2022 - Cover2
InTents April/May 2022 - 1
InTents April/May 2022 - 2
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