Endowment to America’s Only Textile College Recognizes Importance of U.S. Manufacturing

Cathalijne Adams

Cathalijne Adams Researcher and Writer, AAM

With 700 textile manufacturing facilities and over 35,000 workers, North Carolina’s textile mill industry is one of the largest in the U.S., a reputation that North Carolina State University’s College of Textiles has helped build since 1899. 

Thanks to a former student's generous donation, the college continues to serve as a hub for cutting-edge textile research and development, and as a supplier of workforce talent. 

The school announced a $28 million gift, the largest gift in the college’s history, from alumnus Frederick Eugene Wilson Jr. and his family on Nov. 2. In the family’s honor, the school was renamed the Wilson College of Textiles. 

Wilson emphasized that his gift demonstrates his faith in the future of U.S. manufacturing:

“When we were talking to the chancellor about the college and about it being the only college of textiles remaining in the U.S., a light bulb really went off. Somebody’s got to draw a line in the sand. We’ve got to remember what got us here and recognize where we can go in the future. I’m happy that we could be the ones to do that.”

The Wilson College of Textiles is the only American college exclusively dedicated to the study of textiles and frequently partners with manufacturers and federal agencies, sponsoring the growth of manufacturing jobs throughout the state and country.

“The Wilson family’s donation will benefit not just North Carolinians, but the entire U.S. textile supply chain,” National Council of Textile Organizations Chairman and North Carolina State University graduate Marty Moran said.  

Though the exodus of manufacturing from America in past decades led to the shutdown of many U.S. textile companies, new technology has made domestic manufacturing more and more attractive. In 2017, the U.S. textile industry supply chain employed 550,500 workers and was the fourth-largest exporter of textile-related products in the world.

A resurgence of textile manufacturing appears close at hand, but training and research centers like the Wilson College of Textiles will play a critical role in ensuring future growth.

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Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work