Sewing Academy Provides Training for Growing Fashion Industry: Mayor Dean to cut ribbon on new center Wednesday

Posted 08/29/2015

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean will cut the ribbon on Wednesday 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 (NFA), and Omega Apparel Inc., a local manufacturer. First dreamed of late last year, the Sewing Training Academy is viewed as a key component to the success of Nashville's burgeoning fashion scene.

"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, executive director of Catholic Charities.

The Frist Foundation, the Memorial Foundation, and other benefactors provided critically needed start-up funding for the Academy.

"This program will provide the necessary skilled workforce for our apparel community to grow and thrive. High quality commercial sewers are an important part of the creative process for emerging fashion brands," added, Van Tucker, Nashville Fashion Alliance CEO.

"I am ready to put the graduates to work!" continued Dean Wegner, Omega Apparel's president/CEO. "Within 5 years, this initiative could easily add 1000 new jobs to the local economy."

The new Sewing Training Academy, located at Catholic Charities' Job Training Center at 1210 Davidson Street in East Nashville, currently houses 10 sewing machine stations for training.

"We are seeking students with a desire to learn sewing as a professional trade in order to gain employment in apparel manufacturing after course completion," explained Trishawna Quincy, an experienced clothing designer herself and the Academy's coordinator and instructor.

Three-week courses will be 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 beginner session begins on August 31; other levels will follow.

"We are so excited about our partnership with NFA and Omega Apparel," said Megan Stack director of Catholic Charities' Family Assistance and Community Employment department which oversees the Academy.

"It is providing us with a truly unique opportunity to serve this growing Nashville industry while providing job opportunities for many Nashvillians, including a number of our immigrant and refugee population, which will allow them to achieve self-sufficiency through employment."

The Ribbon Cutting for the new Academy is Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 1210 Davidson Street. Mayor Dean, representatives of Catholic Charities, NFA and Omega, as well as other community members will be present for the Ceremony at 10 a.m.

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