The Sewn Products Equipment & Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA) announced plans for an entirely new, first-of-its-kind show floor training program that will launch at the upcoming Texprocess Americas, May 10-12, 2023, in Atlanta.
The training program, coined “Training Takes Time,” will serve as the launchpad for a strategic, long-term initiative designed to promote quality training regimens that start in the U.S. and have the potential to expand to other markets across the Americas.
In addition to training offered on the show floor, Texprocess Americas attendees will be granted an extraordinary opportunity to register for free enrollment in twelve scheduled training programs that will take place in Boston, Miami, and Los Angeles throughout 2023 and 2024. The training sessions, which will span two days, are tailored for mechanics, operators, and facility managers. After the Atlanta exhibition, seats for the training will be priced at $1,800 each.
Brought to life by SPESA members Merrow Sewing Machine Company (of the Merrow Group Companies) and the Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center (ISAIC), the show floor training program at Texprocess Americas will demonstrate replicable and scalable teaching methods for machine repair/maintenance and use that to address the growing need for skilled workers in the sewn products industry. In addition to hands-on demonstrations, the training will utilize augmented reality tools to illustrate how these training methods can help scale the industry and support growth in the Americas.
“Using augmented reality tools, experienced technicians can virtually impart knowledge on less experienced employees and incoming trainees,” said Alex Stchekine, Research & Innovation Manager at ISAIC. “Technicians and instructors no longer have to be in the same room to share information, which is especially helpful for people who need to learn on the job over a longer period of time.” Stchekine continues by saying, “Augmented reality technology is capable of merging two real-time video streams to demonstrate how to solve issues and teach competencies, saving time and money dispensed to travel from one facility to another.”
The Merrow Group Companies and ISAIC are two key players at the forefront of workforce development initiatives for the sewn products industry. Through different educational programs and partnerships, both organizations are committed to revolutionizing manufacturing processes, with a people-centric approach that hones on domestic career development, sustainability, advancing manufacturing technologies, and economic growth — locally, regionally, and globally.
“There has been a massive push to bring the production of soft goods back to the Americas,” said Charlie Merrow, CEO of The Merrow Group Companies. “Training people here in the U.S. is how we support the reshoring movement. Not only are you providing people with the necessary skills and knowledge needed to find jobs, but you are also investing in your community and contributing to a more efficient and sustainable supply chain. Training is one key function to propelling the industry forward in the U.S. and the western hemisphere.”
“We have talked and talked about the importance of workforce development for the sewn products industry. Now we are turning words into action,” said Michael McDonald, President of SPESA. “Building and maintaining a strong workforce for the sewn products industry in the U.S. is critical. Having the Career Training & Innovation Center at Texprocess Americas this year will allow us to equip the next generation of mechanics, engineers, and specialists with the tools and resources needed to catapult the industry into its next chapter. I am looking forward to seeing Texprocess Americas serve as a backdrop to a larger industry movement here in the U.S.”
In addition to the Career Training & Innovation Center, the 2023 edition of Texprocess Americas will also feature for the first time a Tech & Start-Up Zone. This dedicated space will highlight companies with innovative technologies, ideas, practical solutions, processes, and products that are revolutionary to the global sewn products industry.
“The industry is rapidly evolving, and we’re excited for attendees and exhibitors of Texprocess Americas to have a front-row seat to the action,” said Kristy Meade, Vice President of Technical Textiles & Technology Shows for Messe Frankfurt North America. “Our team is dedicated to ensuring that this year’s show offers meaningful exhibitor and attendee experiences through a host of new show features. We continue to track new trends, technologies, and developments across the industry and bring them to the forefront through comprehensive education and programs.”
Click here to learn more about the upcoming Texprocess Americas. Click here to learn more about the new show floor additions at Texprocess Americas. A schedule for upcoming Training Takes Time programs in 2023 and 2024 will be made available soon. Equipment suppliers and manufacturers interested in joining the initiative can reach out to the SPESA team for more information.