New Sewing Training Academy Opens in Nashville (Charities USA, Catholic Charities USA)

Posted 01/20/2016

On September 2, 2015, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean cut the ribbon to open Catholic Charities of Tennessee's Sewing Training Academy, a new initiative designed to provide skilled employees for Nashville's growing apparel manufacturing industry.

The Academy is the result of a unique collaboration between Catholic Charities, the Nashville Fashion Alliance, and Omega Apparel Inc., a local manufacturer. Start-up funding was provided by the Frist Foundation, the Memorial Foundation and other benefactors.

"The Sewing Training Academy is a wonderful example of a public/private partnership that will prepare Middle Tennesseans for skilled, well-paying jobs supporting the local growing creative economy," said Bill Sinclair, ex¬ecutive director of Catholic Charities.

First dreamed of late last year, the Academy is viewed as a key component to the success of Nashville's burgeoning fashion scene. It is located at 1210 Davidson Street in East Nashville and houses 10 sewing machine stations for training. Three-week courses are offered at each of three levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Classes are held Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. - 12 noon at the Job Training Center. Ten students are admitted per class.

The first class of sewers, all women, started on August 31. They varied in age and ethnicity. Two of them - a mother-daughter duo - arrived in Nashville last year from the Congo. They spoke some English, but through another nonprofit, they were able to have a translator with them part-time during the program. Other students were refugees from Burma.

Catholic Charities will continue to help provide job opportunities to people who need them, including, but not limited to, those in the immigrant and refugee communities, who may then go on to achieve self-sufficiency through employment.

SOURCE: (page 27)

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