Diversity essential for US textile sector hiring

As workforce diversity increases in the textile and fashion industries in the United States, universities and employers need to reach out to young adults from all backgrounds, including African Americans, to fill new jobs, says Kaye Crippen, professor of the department of merchandising, textiles and design at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB).

She said this while speaking on the importance of education in textile and material sciences at the 2017 North American Materials Education Symposium at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, recently.

Crippen presented a paper there on teaching textile sciences to diverse student populations, including students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority service institutions. She co-authored the paper with Patricia M. Mulready, a former professor at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Crippen mentioned about UAPB’s community outreach efforts in introducing local children and youth to concepts of textile sciences and apparel design through collaboration with the Arts and Science Centre for Southeast Arkansas, according to an UAPB press release.

She said it is important to involve students in activities such as creating new product concepts. When they feel responsible for coming up with a product or solution and are able to use their imagination, students are engaged in a deeper and more meaningful way than they might be during a traditional lecture, she added.

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