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Whitmer Announces 74 New Jobs Coming to Detroit as National Garment Nonprofit ISAIC Expands

Updated: Sep 21, 2022

Press Release

ISAIC has partnered with Carhartt to grow the industrial sewing trades in Michigan as well as innovate for advanced manufacturing in the sewn goods industry.

LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to announce that national nonprofit for the sewn trades ISAIC is expanding its operations in Detroit to accommodate increased demand from an existing client. The project is expected to generate a total capital investment of $550,000 and create up to 74 jobs, supported by a $259,000 Jobs Ready Michigan grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund. Michigan was chosen for the project over competing sites in New York and Missouri.

“This expansion by ISAIC, a national sewn trades nonprofit that regularly partners with Carhartt, will create 74 good-paying manufacturing jobs in Detroit and build on our economic momentum,” said Governor Whitmer. “I will work with anyone to invest in our hardworking people and innovative businesses so they can thrive. Right now, Michigan’s economy is growing. Unemployment is low, we have added 133,000 jobs in the last 12 months, and we continue to build on our manufacturing heritage. Our future is bright, and investments like this one by ISAIC will help us continue moving our state forward.”

ISAIC, founded in 2017 as the Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center in Detroit, is a nonprofit national institute for the sewn trades. The organization was developed by a group of industry stakeholders recognizing an opportunity to change the way the industry operates. The group focuses on training in a way that prepares individuals for advancement in the industry while supporting the industry with highly skilled employees.

The organization has identified new opportunities with a current client and plans to expand at its facility in Detroit, where it will add machinery and equipment. The R&D aspect of the project will involve the creation of technology that can respond to on-demand cut and sew needs from clients. This technology can help reduce overall costs of production while responding to the changing needs of clients within 24 hours. The project builds on MEDC’s efforts to strengthen Michigan’s advanced manufacturing industry and create jobs for future generations of Michiganders.

“The MEDC has been on the forefront of fostering not only our state’s existing industries such as auto and mobility but also supporting emerging sectors in the advanced manufacturing of product including apparel. In addition, it will help to support our continued collaboration with the Advanced Robotic Manufacturing Institute,” said Jen Guarino, ISAIC CEO. “We are grateful for the MEDC support of ISAIC and our impact on our community.”

ISAIC offers an apprenticeship program and has partnered with Carhartt and others to grow the industrial sewing trades in Michigan as well as innovate for advanced manufacturing in the sewn goods industry. ISAIC also partners with local nonprofits to provide wraparound services to its employees and to target outreach to underrepresented populations, and provides opportunities for growth and promotion to its employees. The project will bring 74 jobs to Detroit residents with future pathways in an industry that has been identified as a local priority.

“We’re pleased to celebrate ISAIC’s continued growth and look forward to working together to grow, add jobs and provide greater opportunity for Detroit residents,” said MEDC Executive Vice President of Economic Development Incentives Michele Wildman. “We are grateful to the Governor and legislators for the continued support of the Jobs Ready Michigan program. We’re proud to partner with DEGC, the city of Detroit and ISAIC as it builds on Detroit’s manufacturing heritage and innovative spirit and creates a booming fashion hub in the Motor City.”

The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation will continue to provide staff time and assistance to the organization and will connect ISAIC with its workforce development system to access talent. For information on careers with ISAIC, visit

“As proud partners of ISAIC, we are excited by this investment and its contribution to advancing economic opportunity in the City of Detroit’s growing fashion and apparel sector,” said DEGC President and CEO Kevin Johnson. “We look forward to building upon our efforts in providing Detroiters with access to jobs.”

MEDC has a rich history of support for ISAIC over the years as it continues integrating high-tech solutions into Detroit’s blooming fashion industry. In 2019, ISAIC began working with the Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC) program to help create a sustainable, community-empowered ecosystem for apparel manufacturing with an innovative approach to facility design, application of technology and advanced career path development.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began in Michigan in 2020, ISAIC pivoted its training and manufacturing efforts from apparel to isolation gowns and masks to address the shortage of personal protection equipment. With the help of $150,000 from PMBC’s Emergency Access and Retooling Grant program, more than 550,000 disposable face masks and 500,000 isolation gowns were manufactured.

To learn more about ISAIC’s continued commitment to growing and thriving in Michigan, visit here.

This press release was issued August 22, 2022. Additional coverage can be found here. ISAIC is a SPESA member.

SPESA members are encouraged to email news and releases to or to be featured under Member Spotlights.

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