Gaston College participates in round table with White House Representative

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Gaston College and other members of the N.C. Textile Innovation and Sustainability Engine participate in round table with the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology

NCTISE is an inaugural winner of the NSF Regional Innovation Engines award

On Wednesday, February 21, Jasmine Cox-Wade, executive director of the Gaston College Textile Technology Center, participated in a round table discussion with fellow textile industry leaders during an event that took place at the Manufacturing Solutions Center in Conover, N.C.

The event followed the January 29, 2024, announcement from the U.S. National Science Foundation that the North Carolina Textile Innovation and Sustainability Engine is one of ten groups to win the inaugural NSF Regional Innovation Engines award. Gaston College is a member of the NCTISE leadership team. The other members of the leadership team are The Industrial Commons, NC State University Wilson College of Textiles, the Manufacturing Solutions Center at Catawba Valley Community College, NC IDEA, the N.C. Department of Commerce, RTI International, and Western Piedmont Community College.

The MSC welcomed Michal Ziv-El, NSF program director, Graciela Narcho, NSF deputy assistant director, and Arati Prabhakar, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, who toured the facility prior to the round table discussion. Dr. Prabhakar was visiting North Carolina as part of President Biden’s Investing in America Tour.

During the round table discussion, Cox-Wade addressed the importance of technical training through community colleges and touted Gaston College’s Textile Technology associate degree program, which prepares students for work as textile technicians and as textile designers. The program offers an affordable, accessible education and the ability to transfer credits to a four-year university, such as NC State, along with work-based learning opportunities that put students on the path to a career in textiles.

The NSF Regional Innovation Engines award, “Creating a Modern, Green and Inclusive Textile Sector,” will advance our nation’s capacity for innovation in textiles through a lens of environmental sustainability and with an eye toward circularity, positioning the Engine as a global leader in this sector. The award grants the Engine $15 million over two years with the possibility of future additional funding.

Gaston College's Jasmine Cox and Stephen Sharp with Director of White House Office of Science and Technology


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