Innovation Network Created Through Catawba Valley Community College, Gaston College Partnership

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

Press Release | Published in Textile World

This press release was posted on Textile World December 15, 2020, citing Gaston College as its source.


DALLAS, N.C. — December 15, 2020 — Through a partnership with Catawba Valley Community College’s Manufacturing Solutions Center (MSC) and Gaston College’s Textile Technology Center (TTC) comes the birth of the Manufacturing & Textile Innovation Network (MTIN).


The partnership of these two centers is a vision of Dr. Garrett Hinshaw, president of Catawba Valley Community College and Dr. John Hauser, president of Gaston College. Both leaders see the MTIN as an opportunity for their respective colleges to work together to develop a regional workforce focused on advanced materials and textile testing development.


“This partnership is a model demonstration of how regional community colleges can leverage their assets to create value within a region’s economy,” said CVCC President Dr. Garrett Hinshaw. “Catawba Valley Community College and Gaston College are creating additional partnership opportunities for the future that will strengthen the workforce and provide a solid foundation for regional economic development.”


The collaborative effort has developed a new two-year associate degree in Textile Technology with three specialty tracks in Textile Design, Textile Technician and Textile Manager. In addition to the current customized industry training programs, MTIN will be developing new industry certifications opportunities to serve business and industry.

The Textile Technology Advisory Board and the Board of Trustees at both colleges have approved the merger of the partnership.


“The partnership exemplifies the future of how community colleges, regions and communities work together to create success,” said Gaston College President Dr. John Hauser. “The value this partnership brings to the state of North Carolina and our regional businesses and industry is tremendous. This partnership also focuses on enhancing our workforce development programs to create opportunities for our students. We are committed to strengthening our region and this is one of the many opportunities for Gaston College and Catawba Valley Community College.”


Currently, CVCC’s Manufacturing Solutions Center provides technical assistance, product testing, training, business incubation and product research and development for commercial manufactures, including commercial manufacturers that specialize in textile and fabrics and non-textile related products.


The Textile Technology Center at Gaston College provides technical assistance, testing services, product prototyping and sample production and customized training for commercial manufacturers using textile and fiber in the manufacturing process.


By themselves, the Manufacturing Solutions Center and the Textile Technology Center each lead the way in providing solutions for manufacturing and textile processes and advancement, but by combining these resources, the Manufacturing and Textile Innovation Network allows both Centers to operate in coordination with each other to provide better support to their respective clients, expand services to other related industries and provide more opportunities for research and development.


“This is a great example of how these two centers and partnerships have been collaborating is in the early stages of COVID and the need for PPE equipment,” said Robin Phillips-Hauser, director, Business Development for the MTIN. “The MSC, TTC and Carolina Textile District were able to react quickly because CTD was able to provide a pattern for masks. Together, we were able to assist industries to quickly adjust their existing product to start producing masks. Many projects like this has been taking place over the years, by collaborating and bringing organizations together, we can share resources and grow even better together.”


The vision of the MTIN is to create an end-to-end matchless resource for diversified manufacturing applied research and development, textile testing, prototyping, business incubation and training. The MTIN will serve companies within the US and around the world.

“Building the MTIN network partnership is unlimited with opportunities for collaborations on projects, grant funding, referrals, and industry support,” said Sam Buff, vice president and general manager of the MSC and TTC. “Most importantly, we can work together to test and help produce quality products, training, job creation and retention.”


The operational partnership of the two Centers will benefit the Centers, industry customers, the textile and manufacturing industries, and our respective communities. The MTIN serves as another economic development resource for the region and state of North Carolina, and it plans to work with manufacturing and textile organizations on projects that will benefit businesses and industry and widen our testing and training services and collaborate on research and funding opportunities.

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