Customer stories

The cost of synergy: workforce education’s role in the influx of new technology

The value for integrating high tech digital solutions in the workforce development education space has compounded growth potential. 

The Cost of Synergy - Gerber

It provides the needed foundation to support the development of fashion ecosystem that needs a high return on newly trained laborforce in terms of:

  •       Skilled output for local manufacturers
  •       Gainful Workforce Opportunities in a rapidly growing metroplex
  •       Scalable Business for designers and manufacturers

At the Austin Community College Fashion Incubator, we have partnered with the City of Austin and Gerber Technology to provide rigorous training on the full digital solutions package that includes AccuMark 2D, AccuMark 3D, YuniquePLM, and Gerber CutWorks for the Z1 Cutter – the automated flatbed single-ply cutter.  The full solution has provided an incredible opportunity to meet the need of students, local designers, and local industry to make them competitive on the world stage. This is a robust solution for a robust challenge.

The Cost of Synergy - Gerber

The opportunity cost of failing to integrate high-technology into domestic manufacturing solutions means risking the agility of domestic manufacturing to keep up with offshore pricing that domestic customers have embraced. In a world where competition is king, fashion startups often fail to get their product placed at the correct quantities and price due to lack of access to real technology solutions. Cost is a part of this, but so is access.

Some may ask, why Austin? Does the investment of $13.1M in a full digital solutions package from Gerber Technology make sense in an area that is primarily known for music and technology? Frankly, the answer is yes. In a recent white paper regarding new growth industries in Austin for potential investment, more than 1300 surveyed people self-selected as being a part of the fashion industry in the Austin metroplex. Additionally, in 2013 fashion made up $86 million in revenue generation. The City of Austin made a commitment to address this growth area and provide the needed access to technology and business development resources to build this industry.

At the Austin Community College Fashion Incubator, we are:

  •       Educating students and local industry on what’s technologically and logistically possible
  •       We are providing the catalyst for the adoption of new technology in local manufacturing facilities and startup design offices
  •       Training and developing a local skilled laborforce to provide workforce capacity for existing businesses and beyond

We recently trained Kristopher Stevens, the co-owner of Stitch Texas on Gerber AccuMark 2D and Gerber CutWorks. As a partner and Advisory Board member, he is teaching our AccuMark 2D course in an industry-relevant manner to our students. As an instructor for CutWorks, he immediately saw the cost-savings by learning to utilize and integrate the Z1 cutter into his workflow. For demonstration, we cut a pair of 5-pocket denim jeans in 30 seconds on the Z1 single-ply automatic cutter. The manufacturer was floored. His experienced cutter could spend a minimum of 30 minutes cutting a pair of jeans to the accuracy and precision the Z1 achieved in a matter of seconds.  The labor cost savings is apparent.

Our students at the community college come from a variety of backgrounds, many with years of experience in the fashion industry but lack the exposure and access to fashion technology.  This program addresses that and makes our students and local industry more competitive on a global scale.

The Cost of Synergy - Gerber

In all, the Austin Community College in partnership with the City of Austin is committed to driving entrepreneurship through a variety of activities that will promote gainful workforce in a thriving city and support the development of a designer-in-residence program that will drive volume needs for local manufacturers. We’ll share more about the opportunities of the designer-in-residence program in the future.

Did you know that you could apply to become a Designer-in-Residence at the Austin Community College Fashion Incubator?  Apply here for more details. We also teach the entire digital solutions package from Gerber Technology in our Fashion Course offerings.  To stay up on the latest, follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @accfashionincubator #accfashionincubator #accfashion.


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