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Textile to Aerospace Workforce Transition Initiative

Client: North Carolina Workforce Commission

Industry: Textile and Aerospace Manufacturing

Services Provided: Skill Analysis, Career Pathway Development, Industry Transition Strategy

Challenge: Globalization reduced labor costs abroad, causing North Carolina textile mills to shut down, leaving thousands of workers unemployed and without experience in other industries.

Solution: Futures analyzed the core skills of these textile workers, identifying a strong match with the composite layup work required in the aerospace industry. We developed career transition pathways that repositioned these workers for aerospace manufacturing roles.

Outcome: The transition initiative successfully reemployed thousands of former textile workers in the aerospace sector, notably with companies like Airbus, leveraging their existing skills in new, sustainable careers.

Key Highlights:

  • Comprehensive skill assessment of displaced textile workers.

  • Development of new career pathways aligning with aerospace industry needs.

  • Strategic repositioning of workforce skills from textile to aerospace.

  • Successful placement of workers in roles producing aerospace components.

  • Saved millions of dollars in unemployment expenditures.

  • Prevented economic impact losses totaling tens of millions of dollars.

Summary: This case exemplifies Futures' ability to adapt workforce skills to emerging industry demands, offering a template for similar transitions in other regions and sectors facing industrial evolution.


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