RALEIGH, N.C. — Wake County wants to bring more textiles jobs back to North Carolina. It is looking to a world leader in cutting-edge textile research to help do just that.
"The textile industry is simply going through a transition," said Ted Morris of North Carolina State University.
That transition is to nonwoven textiles -- textiles that do not contain yarns and are not woven together. For example, household wipes that will not tear or wear.
Wake County just launched an effort to bring nonwoven textile jobs to the area with the help of N.C. State University.
"We use their contacts with industry, the tremendous amount of research that's going on and their knowledge of cutting-edge technology. We combine that with our ability to market and sell and take the message all across the world," said Ken Atkins of Wake County Economic Development.
Leaders at N.C. State's College of Textiles say companies have many reasons to want to be near the university. For example, its
Nonwovens Cooperative Research Center
, which trains students and professionals.
"This facility is the only one of its type in the world, and our academic programs created for the nonwoven sector do not exist anywhere else in the world," said Behnam Pourdeyhimi, of the College of Textiles.
N.C. State is perhaps the only university with a 3D body scan machine, which gives head-to-toe measurements in 30 seconds.
Wake County hopes this will attract companies that specialize in the perfect fit. Most importantly, the county hopes the new partnership with N.C. State is the perfect fit to save North Carolina's textile heritage.
The partnership hopes to recruit more than 300 companies. They want the companies to do research and development near N.C. State University, but manufacturing plants could be built in surrounding counties.