The United States Agency For International Development (USAID) recently awarded North Carolina State University’s (NC State’s) Wilson College of Textiles a $2 million, two-year grant to fund development of a technical textile training program. The program, named Hilando Oportunidades —spinning opportunities —aims to develop skilled workers for the textile industry while transforming the lives of young people in northern Honduras. The goal is to train at least 1,500 Hondurans in yarn spinning, knitting, dyeing and finishing, and apparel production.The grant brings together the Wilson College, Gaston College and Catawba Valley Community College with the Universidad Technológica Centroamericana (UNITEC) in Honduras.
The program will employ the technology of Shimmy, an industrial startup company that offers app-based training. Melissa Sharp, associate director of the Zeis Textiles Extension (ZTE) at the Wilson College will lead the project. She notes that the program comes with trackable credentials, issued through Credly and maintained by NC State, that will provide third-party proof of skills obtained through the program.
“Through Hilando Oportunidades,Wilson College and our partners have the rare opportunity to transform the lives of thousands of Hondurans by providing pathways to better employment and brighter futures while simultaneously enabling a sustainable regional textile supply chain with key allies that also drives economic prosperity here in North Carolina,” said Wilson College of Textiles Dean David Hinks.
“UNITEC is delighted that Honduras is receiving support from USAID and our partners to promote the development of skilled labor to support and strengthen the country’s textile industry,“ said UNITEC CEO Rosalpina Rodriguez.“Academic quality and social responsibility are fundamental pillars of UNITEC, and we will bring our full experience in these areas to train Hondurans with the necessary skills and knowledge to build successful careers in the textile industry.”