Nonprofit Lands Grant to Boost StitchWorks Program
United Way of Central Indiana has awarded a $50,000 grant to Indianapolis-based nonprofit PATTERN. The cultural and economic development organization says the funding will launch a training curriculum to help fill a need for workers in the industrial sewing industry as part of its StitchWorks program.
PATTERN says StitchWorks aims to connect “poverty-vulnerable populations, especially those re-entering the community from the criminal justice system, with in-demand jobs in the fashion/textile/apparel industry.”
The new training curriculum is being developed in collaboration with Ivy Tech Community College and the Indiana Fashion Foundation. PATTERN says it will emphasize the recruitment of poverty-vulnerable residents, recent immigrants and recent high school graduates.
“With United Way’s support, and other funding PATTERN is pursuing, StitchWorks will build an economic ecosystem for this industry in Indianapolis — benefiting vulnerable citizens in need of good work, small business owners looking for labor and distributors, and companies seeking workers,” said Polina Osherov, PATTERN founder and executive director. “This initiative is all about matching markets. We know that there is plenty of demand and that we are going to be training people to fill that demand.”
PATTERN says the goal is for the StitchWorks program to train at least 30 stitchers every year for the next five years and help create or fill 200 jobs, such as upholsterers, embroidery operators, PPE makers, and more.
The nonprofit cites Develop Indy, which says the textile industry generates an estimated $980 million in economic impact for Marion County each year.