SEAMSTRESS TRAINING PROGRAM
Rightfully Sewn's Seamstress Training Program exists to 1. prepare participants for full-time jobs paying living wages in the sewn product industry; and 2. give participants the confidence and entrepreneurial skills to obtain supplemental, freelance work. These directives will thereby help sewn product manufacturing businesses grow and establish Kansas City as a fashion manufacturing hub.
We amalgamated a credentialed panel to help us develop our program, which included professionals who teach sewing, leaders from social service agencies and women's business development organizations, and sewn product manufacturers based in Kansas City who need to hire skilled seamstresses.
The pilot program launched in May 2017 with an international roster of participants who were identified through our social service agency partners, as noted:
Amna, Syrian, Jewish Vocational Services
Andrescia, American, Hope Faith Ministries
Jasmin, American, Hope Faith Ministries
Liliane, Congolese, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas
Marzia, Afghani, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas
Sholeh, Iranian, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas
Under the tutelage of Rightfully Sewn's Director of Curricula and Instruction and classroom mentors, the participants moved through a rigorous curriculum and carried out regular homework assignments. All six women graduated the program, and four were immediately placed in full-time jobs.
We are incredibly proud of all of their achievements and look forward to following their careers. The next class will begin in the summer of 2018, and participants will again be recruited through our social service agency partners.
WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER
At Rightfully Sewn, we believe in knowledge-sharing and collaborations. In addition to our social service agency partners mentioned above, our Seamstress Training Program is made stronger through the following relationships:
VENUE PARTNER: The Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts has a well-appointed sewing room for their robust high school fashion design program, which the Kansas City Public School District is allowing us to use for our Seamstress Training Program.
INTERPRETATION AND CULTURAL SENSITIVITY TRAINING PARTNER: We work with Jewish Vocational Services' Language and Cultural Services department to provide these critical elements to our participants, staff, and volunteers.
SOFT SKILLS DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS: Our participants can attend a professional skills development program available through Women's Employment Network, which focuses on workplace etiquette, financial management, and interview skills, and they also learn from leaders at the Women's Foundation about salary negotiating methods.
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