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AZ Stitch Lab program stitching the gap in the industrial sewing industry

AZ Stitch Program
Posted at 6:11 AM, Jan 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-05 08:11:01-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — There's a new program in town that aims to help fill the gap in the industrial sewing workforce. It's called the AZ Stitch Lab, which will be hosted at the Sonoran Stitch Factory, and hundreds of people will learn everything they need to know in order to get a job in the industrial sewing industry.

In partnership with the City of Tucson, the lab will conduct six or 12-week courses in industrial sewing, digital pattern making, 3D modeling and entrepreneurship. There will also be advanced level training for sewing machine technicians.

City’s director of Economic Initiatives Barbra Coffee said it's a growing field in Tucson and it's something most people don't realize that is integral in our society.

"What is key here is when we see an employer that wants to hire people," she said. "We want to find a workforce solution so that is how it came about. The industrial sewing industry is small but growing here in Tucson.”

President and owner of Sonoran Stitch Factory Erica Yngve said the factory helps sew everything from clothes to shower curtains for people across the country.

"I was facing a severe workforce shortage so what I was doing is hiring people with some experience and training them on the job and it was working barely but it was tedious, so this program will provide sewers that I can pull from as well as other companies that need sewers," she said.

The partnership will also collaborated with the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, which will help with funding and sourcing candidates. AZ Stitch Lab will also bring emphasis to sustainable, environmental friendly fashion as a way of steering people away from fast fashion.

If you're looking to sign up for the program, head to their website here.