What could be better than improving product quality, decreasing production costs and eliminating waste? Try doing all three of those things while simultaneously bringing jobs back to the United States. Santana Textiles, located primarily in Brazil and Argentina, will be working with South Texas College to improve business practices at its 33-acre Edinburg, Texas facility. This Fall, 330 employees will be taught in the finer points of Six Sigma, Lean manufacturing, and supply chain management in an effort to reverse the trend of textile jobs being transferred overseas.
While labor-intensive cutting and sewing will remain in Mexico, Santana Textiles will spin, dye, and weave Texas-grown cotton into denim at its Edinburg plant. Santana Textiles CEO J. Michael Aiken says the US-based Edinburg location will provide a competitive advantage by increasing speed to market — a necessity in the ever-changing fashion industry.
The training is being done in cooperation with state officials, who provided a $600k grant for South Texas College to train Santana Textile’s workers. Another $600k will be available for the next batch of workers, as the company hopes to hire 800 employees by 2016. This will not only bring strengthen textile production in the Rio Grande Valley, but will likely create up to 5,000 jobs indirectly for suppliers, which include South Texas farmers.