GRCC offering new industrial sewing certificate program

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids Community College is offering a new industrial sewing class to help train students for the profession.

The class will provide skills needed for a variety of open positions in West Michigan.

Public Thread, a Grand Rapids business that makes bags and other products from fabrics that would have been discarded, will host the class at its manufacturing site.

Lisa Knight, the chief operating officer, worked with GRCC to create the new program that will offer a certificate upon completion of the course.

“We’re hoping that manufacturers and businesses will come and see what the students are doing and actually be able to make those connections before they’re finished with the class and hire them on the spot,” Knight said.

GRCC says the new class will help meet the needs of students and employers with open positions. The college is also providing some of the equipment needed for the course.

The class begins on Oct. 26 and is already full for the first session. There is a waiting list to enroll in the course.

Starting pay for positions in industrial sewing ranges from $17 to $23 per hour, according to Knight.   

Public Thread sees growth in the upcycling textile industry, which helps the environment by reusing material that would have been sent to the landfill.

“Everything that we have or that we need is right here if we can begin to take those things and can begin to figure out other ways to utilize them,” Knight said. 

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