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Garment Worker Center and Council District 1 Join Together to Highlight New Economic Development Program At Manufacturing Technologies Conference

Press Release

LOS ANGELES — Today, at SPESA's Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference, the Garment Worker Center and the Office of L.A. City Council District 1 facilitated a panel discussion highlighting the new Garment and Fashion Industry Workforce and Economic Development program, designed to grow the local garment manufacturing industry while protecting the garment maker workforce that has long been central to Los Angeles’ manufacturing economy. 

The program, which was initiated by Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez, in partnership with the Garment Worker Center as part of the DTLA 2040 Community Plan Update, will set forth Citywide economic development recommendations, developed through ongoing workshops on small business attraction, labor policies, business support and retention, and more. 

The panel included representatives from both the industry and the City, who spoke about the significance of the garment manufacturing industry in Los Angeles—which is home to more than 30,000 garment manufacturing workers producing 83% of the nation's nearly $2 billion cut and sew apparel sales—and how the Garment and Fashion Industry Workforce and Economic Development program can help address the current challenges faced in a changing global manufacturing environment. 

"Garment Worker Center is proud to be working alongside Councilmember Hernandez and the City’s Garment and Fashion Industry taskforce to develop strategies to support the future of this industry and ensure its longevity,” said Marissa Nuncio, Executive Director Garment Worker Center. “This taskforce represents a multi-stakeholder approach to strengthening the local industry and workforce, which will ensure good jobs and worker well-being are at the forefront. We call on local garment businesses to get involved in GWC's growing business coalition, where they can join workers and strategize together."

"We believe that the people who are closest to the problem are closest to the solution," said Councilmember Hernandez. "My mother was a garment worker and I've seen firsthand the challenges that workers in this industry are facing. This taskforce is a conduit to ensure that garment workers have a seat at the table as we work together to strengthen and safeguard the future of this industry."

"As garment workers, we came together through this process with the City to ensure workforce development programs for workers in both the Fashion District and throughout the City were created that meet our needs,” emphasized Garment Worker Maria Celaya. “Workers and businesses have worked together on this taskforce to craft proposals like job training programs, incentives for businesses that follow the law, and educational resources for small businesses." 

"This taskforce is bringing together government resources for both businesses and workers, and meeting people where they're at with the services they need,” said Helen Campbell, Director of Planning, Council District 1. “We're looking at how to increase transit access, address childcare needs, improve workplace protections, and what else L.A. needs to do to address the challenges the manufacturing industry is facing in a changing environment."

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