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HARRT to assist apparel & footwear industry
Feb '10
In an effort to support and provide long-term assistance to the people of Haiti, the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) announced it has created the Haiti-AAFA Recovery and Reconstruction Team (HARRT) a member-led task force that will provide key apparel, footwear, and textile industry insight as relief operations continue and reconstruction planning begins in earthquake-stricken Haiti.

“As we support the relief work continuing on the ground in Haiti, it is important for the apparel and footwear industry to begin reconstruction activities,” said AAFA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “Because apparel production is one of Haiti's most prominent industries, these sectors will play a critical role in Haiti's recovery. I am pleased so many AAFA members have stepped up through charitable contributions and active leadership on this much-needed task force. Haiti will soon be on its way to full recovery.”

“While we are optimistic about Haiti's full recovery, we understand that our work must be diligent and focused,” said HARRT Steering Committee Co-Chairman Rick Helfenbein, President of TellaS Ltd., the USA division of Luen Thai. “The U.S. apparel industry has a long partnership with Haiti and is ready to be a cornerstone of Haiti reconstruction.”

“Before the earthquake, Haiti experienced several years of incredible growth in its apparel and textile industry,” said HARRT Steering Committee Co-Chairman Jerry Cook, Senior Vice President of Government and Trade, Hanesbrands, Inc. “We must do everything we can to help rebuild this industry that has positively contributed to Haiti's economy. We have our work cut out for us as we get started making sure growth is sustainable and continues into the future.”

HARRT's mission is to ensure that the apparel and footwear industry plays a responsible and proactive role in Haiti's overall recovery. In the coming weeks, HARRT will continue seeking out apparel and footwear producers who are active in Haiti and learn more about their specific and evolving needs. Through core objectives, HARRT will assist the Haitian apparel and footwear industry in addressing infrastructure issues,factory capacity levels, workforce training, responsible production, and sourcing patterns, among many other important concerns. Task force members will also educate U.S. government officials about industry needs as it works to assist Haiti through reconstruction.

American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)

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