Education & Workforce Development

AFFOA aims to build innovative and collaborative Education and Workforce Development programs that will inspire, prepare, and grow the future advanced textile workforce pipeline in the United States


AFFOA’s EWD Mission

Textile manufacturing in the United States has slowly declined over the past several decades. Further, the textile industry as we know it today will not remain the same; it will evolve into a more technical and interdisciplinary field, requiring a distinct group of highly skilled workers to support it. AFFOA’s mission is to inspire, prepare and grow a skilled workforce that aligns with the future needs and landscape of the textile industry.



Inspire future generations to pursue a career in the advanced fibers & fabrics industry.



Prepare stakeholders for the emerging technological advances and automation that will impact the advanced fiber & fabrics industry.



Grow the domestic talent pipeline by increasing the number of relevant education and training programs and aligning assets with industry needs.

What the future workforce will look like

  • The future workforce will require cross-cutting, interdisciplinary thinking, and a bold, problem-solving mindset in addition to both technical and soft skills. 
  • It will be made up of machine operators, technicians, product designers, engineers, scientists, textile specialists and any other career that touches advanced fibers and fabrics supply chain.

AFFOA’s EWD Approach

Our broader mission to catalyze manufacturing innovation and technology in the fiber and fabrics space is only feasible with a qualified workforce to support it. To put this in motion, AFFOA will: 

  1.  Connect Industry Stakeholders: Facilitate stakeholder connections to identify, share and cooperatively pursue industry workplace and workforce best practices
  2. Build Industry Awareness: Develop and deploy materials and programming to increase industry awareness, promote opportunities, and inspire the future workforce.
  3.  Support the Future Workforce: Design career pathways of the future and align them with educational opportunities and industry recognized credentials.
  4. Promote Entrepreneurship: Create entrepreneurship opportunities by identifying and supporting industry innovators
Join Us

Help Shape the Workforce of the Future!

AFFOA welcomes collaboration around innovative ideas and approaches to education and workforce development in the textile industry, including submitting applications for joint funding opportunities. Please contact us if you are interested in connecting about EWD collaboration opportunities.