“The idea began almost two years ago when Mark D’Andreta of TDIC, which is a cut and sew company in Sterling Heights, and his wife Lynne were chatting with me about the difficulty of finding skilled industrial sewers,” said Karen Buscemi, President of DG3. Lynne suggested we start a sewing program that will train people in industrial sewing. “And that was it,” says Karen. “There was no need for a light bulb, she was the light bulb and two years later, here we are.”
The 6-week program will teach students all the key skills necessary to get a job in any area of cut and sew operations, including automotive, apparel, upholstery and boating – just to name a few. The first class began yesterday, Oct. 13, 2014. We ended the day with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and it went off without a hitch. Not only did we have DG3’s Board, the staff of Henry Ford College and the media in attendance, we were also able to invite the students and instructors to join us for refreshments, sewing demonstrations, speeches and, of course, the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon for the first class.
All of this wouldn’t be possible had it not been for our partners who have come together to make up The Makers Coalition DG3. We’d like to thank The Makers Coalition, SEMCA Michigan Works!, Lear Corporation, TDIC, Henry Ford College M-TEC, and the other cut and sew manufacturers around the state. We learned that HFC’s president is no stranger to industrial sewing programs, so we had huge support from early on when we first started working towards this curriculum.
“I’ve been involved in an industrial sewing program in Colorado and I thought ‘Sewing?’ [when I initially heard about it], but I saw it just explode and change peoples lives and get employment,” said Dr. Stan Jensen, President of Henry Ford College. “So, when Dr. Vernier brought this to my attention, I said I’ve already done that research and it is a good thing and I know that this will produce jobs, and students will enjoy employment and great futures.”
Once the students graduate from the pilot program, all of the partners will evaluate the success of the curriculum and prep for an evening option, too. So if you weren’t able to get into this class, more options will soon be available. More information can be found on our website, Henry Ford College’s website and through Michigan Works!