Celebrating its 50-year anniversary, the Synthetic Yarn and Fabric Association (SYFA) has teamed up with Gaston College to create a scholarship fund that will help support Gaston’s new Textile Technology program students.
SYFA members produce technically advanced yarns and fabrics for use in important industries, such as health care, military, automotive, apparel, and furnishing sectors. “U.S. manufacturers need a talented workforce with the skills, know-how, and motivation to implement state-of-the-art technologies. Scholarships are a proven way for attracting talent that, otherwise, might have taken a different path,” said Hardy Sullivan, SYFA President.
Starting in the Spring semester 2023, the scholarship fund will cover $500 of one student’s tuition per year. To support ongoing funding, SYFA’s first fundraising event will be a golf tournament in April 2023.
The Textile Technology Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree program launched in the Fall 2022 semester. It prepares students to work as technicians in product development and testing, machine operation, fiber construction and other projects, and as textile designers. A bilateral 2+2 articulation agreement between Gaston College and the Wilson College of Textiles at NC State gives interested students a seamless pathway to pursue a bachelor’s degree at NC State University.
The Textile Technology AAS program is taught at the Textile Technology Center, located at Gaston College’s Kimbrell campus in Belmont, N.C. There, students get hands-on experience with the latest technology and equipment. Construction of a world-class Fiber Innovation Center will soon be underway on the Kimbrell campus.
SYFA Scholarship recipients will be selected by the Gaston College Foundation, administrator of 100+ scholarships that are awarded annually to Gaston students. “We are grateful to SYFA for the establishment of this scholarship,” said Luke Upchurch, Executive Director of the Gaston College Foundation. “The ability to provide this financial assistance makes our Textile Technology associate degree program even stronger for students who will become a vital part of the expanding textile industry.”
SYFA is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization that holds conferences twice a year in Charlotte, N.C., serving as a forum to discuss product and process innovations, regulatory activities, and economic forecasts. Founded in 1972 as the Textured Yarn Association of America (TYAA), SYFA’s mission remains to advance synthetic yarns and fabrics through education and promotion of new technologies and end-uses.
The SYFA Scholarship is a visible way for the industry to demonstrate its enthusiastic support for Gaston’s new Textile Technology program, and it is a win-win for students and industry. The industry will benefit from a larger pool of technically trained associates while students will make career-shaping connections to globally competitive employers.