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The package includes investments in technology, business technical assistance and workforce development, which will be available to factories across the five boroughs. Relocation and expansion support will be available for companies that are interested in moving from the Garment District.
Specifically, the support package is comprised of four critical types of interventions to support the declining industry – modernisation and investment in technology, enhanced workforce development, industry organization and technical assistance and real estate stability and clustering.
"Since taking office, we have invested in every piece of the fashion industry, from a new academic building at FIT, to marketing assistance, to renovating space in city-owned buildings for manufacturers. I am committed not just to the stability of garment manufacturing, but to its growth. There is a market and a demand for clothes that are Made in New York, and we are taking bold steps to help firms move to the new space we have developed so they can grow and thrive," said Alicia Glen, deputy mayor.
"The Garment District Alliance is pleased to partner with NYCEDC and the CFDA to bring this package of meaningful supports to garment manufacturers. The future of the apparel industry is dependent upon the sustainability of the fashion ecosystem, and we believe this initiative will help to stabilise the apparel manufacturing sector that has been in decline for many years,” said Barbara Blair, president of the Garment District Alliance.
This robust package was developed by the city following substantial outreach to garment manufacturers, designers, suppliers and industry leaders to better understand the challenges that are crippling the industry today. Developed through one-on-one interviews, focus groups and site visits to Sunset Park, the package is a holistic response to the industry's wide-ranging needs and will stabilise and strengthen this critical and historic NYC sector through a decade's worth of investments.
The $51 million support package for the garment manufacturing industry builds upon the city's $15 million investment to create the Made in NY: Fashion initiative, which provides funding for fashion education, production, financing and retail programming.
The CFDA and NYCEDC's Fashion Manufacturing Initiative, which provides funding for new machinery and technology, will build on the success of its first four years and increase grant funding for factories throughout the five boroughs. NYCEDC will procure a third-party operator in the coming months to implement the package of services.
The fashion industry is a significant contributor to the city's economy, employing over 5 per cent of the city's total workforce. Local garment manufacturing is integral to the success of the fashion industry and can be competitive with respect to quality, time and convenience, and local production is equally important to both emerging and established designers. (KD)
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