Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022 - 40

[ MARKETS ] ADVANCED TEXTILES
This points to the need for industry
participants to assist each other. But
how? Wade told the audience to
" expect to be a resource, " and noted
the importance of having industry
participants " reach out and say what
they need and what they have. "
Better use of new technology and
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automation was also discussed as a way
to move smart fabrics more quickly
into the mainstream. More sustainable
materials and practices can help this
effort, says Dr. Michael A. Saltzberg,
global business director, Dupont
Biomaterials, by moving from oil- and
gas-based materials to agri-based,
biomaterials that the U.S. can provide.
" The world is moving toward more
sustainable materials, " Salzberg says.
This " de-fossilization, " or movement
away from fossil-based materials, is
particularly important. " I don't think
we're going to recycle our way out of
this. ... The U.S. ought to focus on
how to become the leader. Brands and
consumers want this, " he says.
" The engine in the United States is
small businesses, " Hinks believes, and
can offer " tremendous opportunity for
startup companies both domestic and
for international businesses to invest
here. " Once again, " The key is to have a
talent supply, " he added.
Bringing industry participants
together and getting the needed talent
for that to happen involves degree
programs and workshops, yes, but
attracting talent should also start at
the high school level. " NC State and
the community college system can be
a conduit for that needed supply of
talent, " he says.
Making a stronger U.S. industry
The closing keynote address was a
Q & A with Jennifer Knight, deputy
assistant secretary for textiles,
consumer goods and materials
(TCGM), U.S. Dept. of Commerce. Dr.
West posed the questions and turned
first to continuing the discussion of
workforce shortages and how to make
the workforce grow.
" The kind of work going on at
the local level is really where it's at-
where people get training, and then
there's a job, " Knight says. The $500
million Good Jobs Challenge has had
more than 500 applicants, she says.
" That should go a long way toward
strengthening the program. "
The loss of experienced workforce
and industry leaders is also looming
with many industry experts nearing
retirement. " We need to develop the
next generation of industry experts, "
she says.
The question of the domestic
 Ph.D. candidate Zoe Newman demonstrated a new textile with highly stretchable and auxetic
properties that was designed for combat uniforms. Photo: NC State Zeis Textiles Extension
40 SPECIALTY FABRICS REVIEW / June 2022
production of PPE was and still is on
everyone's minds. West asked what
the Biden Administration is doing
to support the domestic production
of PPE. She first thanked all those
companies that pivoted to make it,
adding that they " did a fantastic job. "
But the U.S. must work for a more
sustainable public health supply chain,
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Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review June 2022

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