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Industry Talk

Backing for North Carolina textile upcycling

Preparing the next generation of workers to grow the industry.

12th October 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Morganton, NC, USA

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded a $10 million ARISE (Appalachian Regional Initiative for Stronger Economies) grant to The Industrial Commons (TIC), of Morganton, North Carolina, for the construction of a 40,000 square-foot textile upcycling manufacturing hub.

TIC aims to create over 80 new jobs and retain another 530, train hundreds of students and workers about advanced manufacturing, establish a textile supply chain, and connect entrepreneurs in Appalachian North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Through its workforce and education training approach, the project will prepare the next generation of workers to grow the textile upcycling industry in Southern Appalachia.

TIC has set a fundraising goal of $45.6 million and in addition to support from ARC, The Kendeda Fund and the North Carolina General Assembly, the project has been supported financially by the Environmental Protection Agency, The Cannon Foundation, the J.M. Kaplan Fund and an anonymous donor from the region who provided funding for TIC to purchase the land in 2021.

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is growing the economy from the bottom up and middle out, bringing good-paying jobs to communities that have too long been overlooked,” said Mitch Landrieu, senior advisor to the president and White House infrastructure coordinator. “New ARISE awards will expand opportunity, boost domestic manufacturing and bring the benefits of a clean energy economy to communities in Southern Appalachia.”

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