Rebuilding the Textile Talent Pipeline

March 24, 2021

Rebuilding the Textile Talent Pipeline:  A conversation on ways to recruit and retain talent in our industry
Recorded March 24, 2021
Jasmine Cox, Textile Technology Center at Gaston College
Panelists: Apurba Banerjee, PhD, Milwaukee Tool; Sara Chester, The Industrial Commons; Monica Jackson-Buxton, PhD, Parkdale Inc.

This digital lab is offered at no cost to individual and corporate members of AATCC and at a 70% discount ($45) for nonmembers. Corporate members must contact Kim Nicholson to register offline.

Economic cycles and various trade agreements drastically impacted the US Textile Industry creating age gaps within the work force. As the US Textile Industry continues to rebound, we are now looking to recruit the next generation of textile leaders; but how? This presentation will explore:  current disparities within textile companies and their impact on recruiting and maintaining talent, how to develop a company culture conducive for young leaders and available resources for talent sourcing and management.

Jasmine Cox
serves as Process Coordinator at the Textile Technology Center at Gaston College. Jasmine graduated from the NC State Wilson College of Textiles with a B.S in Textile Technology –Supply Chain Operations in 2013 and her Masters of Textiles in 2020. Textiles is truly in Jasmine’s blood; her Eastern North Carolina family lineage traces back to several relatives who worked in the card rooms of Fieldcrest Mills. Jasmine’s passion includes working tirelessly to help rebuild the talent pipeline in the industry by helping to train, recruit and develop young textile professionals.


Sara Chester
is the Executive Co-director for The Industrial Commons. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill she returned to her hometown of Morganton, NC. She worked for eight years at Burke Development, Inc., focusing much of this time on place-based initiatives that grow local wealth. There she earned an IEDC award for Innovative Economic Development. She serves on the Burke County Planning Board and is part of the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Rural Center.


Apurba Banerjee, PhD, is the Principal Textiles Engineer at Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation and leads their Textile-related Safety initiative with personal protective gear. Utilizing her background in functional fabrics and protective textiles, she collaborates with several cross functional teams to develop protective products that save lives and reduce work fatigue in a variety of fields such as construction, plumbing, remolding, etc. She has a passion for sustainability in material selection and product longevity and plans to develop products in the protective textiles field. Apurba is part of the board at American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC), the Vice Chair of the AATCC Technical Committee on Research (TCR) and is a part of several AATCC standards’ committees.

Monica Jackson-Buxton, PhD, is Corporate HR Manager at Parkdale Inc.  Dr. Jackson-Buxton is on a mission to help individuals reach their career aspirations.  Trained as a Human Resources professional, she has a unique 20-year background in talent management, communications, leadership, and learning & development. Her educational background includes a BS in Biology from NC A&T State Univ., BS in Business Management & HR from Guilford College, Masters in Human Resources Development from Clemson University, and DBA Doctorate of Business Administration & Human Resources from Capella University.

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