Sustainable Housing Project

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sewing Classes: The Next Step

A visit by our students to the local sewing factory
Part of our vision for the future of the vocational school has always included getting our students involved in practical work experience as well as studying in the classroom. We have been considering various alternatives to get them into a production setting as part of the educational process. We have two obvious options, either send our students to obtain work experience with local shops while they are taking the course, or else develop our own production system to simulate the jobs that students will have when they graduate.
Sending students out to gain experience in the community without proper supervision can become a great liability and very inconvenient. For some of our courses, that may be our only viable option. In the case of our sewing students, we are considering a goal of setting up a small production facility at the school.

Today we advanced one more step towards making that goal possible. We met with the manager of the local sewing factory that exports clothing. We concluded that we may be able to build an alliance that will help both the school and the factory accomplish their perspective goals. 
The factory needs a qualified work force that will efficiently produce high quality clothing items that they will then sell to their brokers. As a vocational education center, we expect to prepare graduates who are able to meet the standards that the factory expects. Assuming we are able to come to a formal agreement, our sewing students will not only take intensive training specializing in the needs of the factory. They will also learn additional skills that will make them valued employees. Besides learning to sew on industrial machines, each student will take additional courses such as computer, technical English, personal finances and small business administration, Bible classes and interpersonal skills.

An important part of the program is the shared vision of initiating new small businesses composed of 7-14 workers. The first pilot project would be set up at the vocational school where our own students and graduates would actually be making the same items that are made in the factory.
There are lots of details to work out and we have to be sure that we can complete our part of any future working arrangement. There will be financial hurdles to overcome just as there is with any new business. We certainly need your prayers to make this dream become a reality for Choluteca.

1 comment:

  1. Larry,
    This is really exciting! I will be praying that it will be successful.
    In Christ,
    Carole B.