Manufacturing and Textile Innovation Network

News and Updates....

The Textile Technology Center helps develop plastic to fiber for recycled fabric-making Start-Up, “The New Norm”

Lauren Choi Entrepreneur

“At an early age, I had a strong interest and desire to work with sustainable products that would not damage but protect our planet. While in college my interest focused on creating sustainable textiles for the fashion industry. After reading this article, I saw it as an opportunity to step up and do something,” said Choi. 

Read her story at the Textile Technology Center

Don Rusch

Congratulations to Don Rusch

April 2021

Gaston College appoints new Director of Textile Technology Center!

Rusch will be directing, managing, supervising and coordinating the programs and activities of the TTC. He is a seasoned industry leader with over 25 years of experience in textile plant operation.   Read complete story at Gaston College

A radio interview with Sam Buff about the collaborate effort development of a two-year Associate degree

Jodi Geis

Congratulations to Jodi Geis!

March 8, 2021

Jodi Geis has been named the new Director of the Manufacturing Solutions Center

Jodi will now be directing, managing, supervising and coordinating the programs and activities of the Manufacturing Solutions Center.  She had been with the Center for 18 years working in the testing lab.   Read complete story at Catawba Valley Community College

Congratulations to Jill Hendrix and Tanya Osbia!

March 5, 2021

Today, the North Carolina Community College System announced that our Apprenticeship 321 program, under the leadership of Jill Hendrix and Tanya Osbia, was selected as the 2021 OUTSTANDING APPRENTICESHIP PARTNER!!!!!!

Based on submissions by our peers in the field, the Gaston College Apprenticeship 321 program will be recognized at the ApprenticeshipNC Conference virtual award ceremony scheduled on April 28, 2021 at 11:00 am. We are super excited for everyone involved in Apprenticeship 321 and this award exemplifies the high quality instruction, student services, industry partnerships, and continuous care that we show our students and industry partners. I am so proud to be a part of an outstanding institution that continues to excel in all that we do!

Join me in congratulating Jill and Tanya for leading the way for Apprenticeship 321 and for creating a model program for others to follow!


Dr. John Hauser, President
Gaston College

Successful testing through Manufacturing Solutions Center leads to first sale for BedEvac

March 1, 2021

When Cole Harris and his company BedEvac, LLC were directed to the Manufacturing Solutions Center about little more than a year ago, he couldn’t have imagined the results after testing a product he’d been working on.

Working with Manufacturing Solutions Center’s Structural/Engineering technicians Cody Whitener and Seth Setzer, the Manufacturing Solutions Center successfully built a test frame and conducted initial tests for Harris and BedEvac.

“The discussion and results were great. Their efforts were extremely professional and insightful,” Harris said. “My little business is growing slowly, and I had the need to conduct the same assessment with some product from a different manufacturer.”

Through the Manufacturing Solutions Center and the efforts of Whitener and Setzer, Harris and his company were able to see not only positive results, but effective ones as well.

“We completed the test in about half the time as our first effort,” Harris said. “Because we established our method a year ago and Seth and Cody made accurate record of the method, Seth was ready without delay. Working with Seth was fantastic, he is a good scientist. He is a good clear thinker and has a mind for experimental design (as I observed). My gain was that his experience in his field aided in our method development and execution.”

Whitener was forced to be absent from part of the testing process, but Harris said that Setzer didn’t skip a beat.

“It is not often enough that managers and above hear about good performance of their employees,” Harris said. “I’m sure that if Cody had been present it would have been a benefit because of additional input, but Seth performed great on his own. I hope that Seth is routinely reviewed internally as I assess him from the outside.”

Harris’ positive experience with the Manufacturing Solutions Center, which has also included his company’s first sale, is leading him back to the organization for future testing.

“If my business continues to develop, I will be routinely testing our product in a quality control effort and can now trust the Manufacturing Solutions Center’s employees — without my presence — to apply the same method with complete confidence in the results,” Harris said.

About BedEvac

BedEvac is developing and marketing several proprietary products related to continuity of healthcare during patient transport. The company offers the only product in compliance with JCAHO and CMS elements of performance for managing patient transport during emergency evacuation. These products also have daily applications for the transportation of any healthcare patient.

About the Manufacturing Solutions Center

Established in 1990, the Manufacturing Solutions Center provides technical assistance, product testing, training, business incubation and product research and development for commercial manufactures, including commercial manufacturers that specialize in textile and fabrics and non-textile related products.

Jasmine Cox

Congratulations to Jasmine Cox!

Jasmine Cox works at the Gaston College Textile Technology Center as the Process Coordinator for Testing. 

Jasmine has been selected to serve a three-year term as a Director on the Advisory Board for the Advanced Textiles Products division of Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). IFAI is a not-for-profit trade association included member companies representing the international specialty fabrics marketplace. Read complete story here

Congratulations to Tanya Wade!

Tanya Wade is the Entrepreneur Intake Administrator for Manufacturing Solutions Center and the Project Coordinator for Carolina Textile District, specializing in material sourcing and sewn goods products.

Tanya was elected to serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors for the SEAMS Association, as the Education Director. SEAMS is the Association and Voice of the U.S. Sewn Products Industry for over 50 years consisting of more than 200 of America’s foremost fashion brands, retailers, manufacturers and textile providers.

Tanya Wade

Join the U.S. Commercial Service for the Technical Textiles Coffee Chat | Europe

The U.S. Commercial Service’s Global Textiles, Apparel, and Sporting Goods Team invites U.S. exporters to join us for a “virtual coffee chat” with our U.S. Embassy and Consulate colleagues in Turkey, Germany, Czech Republic, and Portugal. This informal video discussion is through Microsoft Teams. The session will cover the current status of the technical textiles sector in these countries.

Date:  Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

Time:  11am U.S. Eastern / 8am Pacific


The session will take place via Microsoft Teams. You will receive a meeting invite after your registration has been processed.


Learn more and register at: Registration costs $25 per company.


U.S. Commercial Service

Stephanie Bethel, International Trade Specialist

Te: 336-500- 7518


Community close-up: Gaston County’s active approach


By Kathy Blake Posted 02/01/2021 In February 2021


The town of Dallas is a quick 10-minute drive north on U.S. 321 from downtown Gastonia. It has a 100-acre park with ballfields, an equestrian show ring and fish-filled lakes. It also is home to Gaston County Museum, which recently hosted “The Bible and Gaston County,” an exhibit documenting religion’s role in textile mill history.

For complete article, visit



Dec. 15, 2020

Manufacturing & Textile Innovation Network created through CVCC, Gaston College partnership

Through a partnership with Catawba Valley Community College’s Manufacturing Solutions Center (MSC) and Gaston College’s Textile Technology Center (TTC) comes the birth of the Manufacturing & Textile Innovation Network (MTIN).

The partnership of these two centers is a vision of Dr. Garrett Hinshaw, president of Catawba Valley Community College and Dr. John Hauser, president of Gaston College. Both leaders see the MTIN as an opportunity for their respective colleges to work together to develop a regional workforce focused on advanced materials and textile testing development. 

“This partnership is a model demonstration of how regional community colleges can leverage their assets to create value within a region’s economy,” said CVCC President Dr. Garrett Hinshaw. “Catawba Valley Community College and Gaston College are creating additional partnership opportunities for the future that will strengthen the workforce and provide a solid foundation for regional economic development.”

The collaborative effort has developed a new two-year associate degree in Textile Technology with three specialty tracks in Textile Design, Textile Technician and Textile Manager. In addition to the current customized industry training programs, MTIN will be developing new industry certifications opportunities to serve business and industry. 

The Textile Technology Advisory Board and the Board of Trustees at both colleges have approved the merger of the partnership.

“The partnership exemplifies the future of how community colleges, regions and communities work together to create success,” said Gaston College President Dr. John Hauser. “The value this partnership brings to the state of North Carolina and our regional businesses and industry is tremendous. This partnership also focuses on enhancing our workforce development programs to create opportunities for our students. We are committed to strengthening our region and this is one of the many opportunities for Gaston College and Catawba Valley Community College.”

Currently, CVCC’s Manufacturing Solutions Center provides technical assistance, product testing, training, business incubation and product research and development for commercial manufactures, including commercial manufacturers that specialize in textile and fabrics and non-textile related products.

The Textile Technology Center at Gaston College provides technical assistance, testing services, product prototyping and sample production and customized training for commercial manufacturers using textile and fiber in the manufacturing process.

By themselves, the Manufacturing Solutions Center and the Textile Technology Center each lead the way in providing solutions for manufacturing and textile processes and advancement, but by combining these resources, the Manufacturing and Textile Innovation Network allows both Centers to operate in coordination with each other to provide better support to their respective clients, expand services to other related industries and provide more opportunities for research and development. 

“This is a great example of how these two centers and partnerships have been collaborating is in the early stages of COVID and the need for PPE equipment,” said Robin Phillips-Hauser, director, Business Development for the MTIN. “The MSC, TTC and Carolina Textile District were able to react quickly because CTD was able to provide a pattern for masks. Together, we were able to assist industries to quickly adjust their existing product to start producing masks. Many projects like this has been taking place over the years, by collaborating and bringing organizations together, we can share resources and grow even better together.”

The vision of the MTIN is to create an end-to-end matchless resource for diversified manufacturing applied research and development, textile testing, prototyping, business incubation and training. The MTIN will serve companies within the US and around the world.

“Building the MTIN network partnership is unlimited with opportunities for collaborations on projects, grant funding, referrals, and industry support,” said Sam Buff, vice president and general manager of the MSC and TTC. “Most importantly, we can work together to test and help produce quality products, training, job creation and retention.”

The operational partnership of the two Centers will benefit the Centers, industry customers, the textile and manufacturing industries, and our respective communities. The MTIN serves as another economic development resource for the region and state of North Carolina, and it plans to work with manufacturing and textile organizations on projects that will benefit businesses and industry and widen our testing and training services and collaborate on research and funding opportunities.  


From left: John Dancoff, chairman, Gaston College Board of Trustees; Dr. John Hauser, President, Gaston College; Dr. Garrett Hinshaw, President, Catawba Valley Community College; and Vance Dalton, chairman, CVCC Board of Trustees.

Textile Technology Center signs first apprentice – News – Gaston Gazette – Gastonia, NC.

Rep. McHenry tours Manufacturing Solutions Center, talks stimulus