Executive Suite 10/4/2018: PC athletics; RI Textile Innovation Network

Executive Suite 10/4/2018: PC athletics; RI Textile Innovation Network


♪ NOW “EXECUTIVE SUITE.” WITH W PRI.COM REPORTER TED NESI. WELCOME, I AM TED NESI. LATER IN THE SHOW, WE ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT ONE OF THE MOST STORIED INDUSTRIES IN RHODE ISLAND HISTORY — TEXTILES WHICH IS BEING REINVENTED, AND A NEW GROUP THAT A STRIKE TO BRING TOGETHER A NUMBER OF COMPANIES THAT ARE SURVIVING IN TEXTILES. FIRST UP, WE ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS. THESE ARE ALWAYS INTERESTING CONVERSATIONS. I AM JOINED BY BOB DRISCOLL, THE ATHLETICS DIRECTOR OF PROVIDENCE COLLEGE SINCE 2001. AND ALSO AN ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT AT THE COLLEGE FOR YOU THANKS FOR BEING HERE. BOB: NICE TO BE HERE. TED: YOU WATCH OVERALL OF THE ATHLETICS, NOT JUST ABOUT BALL AND THE STUFF THAT GETS ATTENTION. TELL ME ABOUT THE FULL HOPE OF WHAT YOU’RE WATCHING AS ATHLETICS DIRECTOR. BOB: WE HAVE THE BIG EAST, WHICH IS THE BEST ABOUT LAW CONFERENCE IN THE NATION AND WE PLAY IN THE HOCKEY AS WELL WHICH IS ONE OF THE TOP IN THE NATION. WE HAVE A CLEARLY DEFINED VISION, WE WANT TO BE THE MOST RESPECTED PROGRAM IN THE NATION OR A GRADUATE ALL OF OUR STUDENT ATHLETES AND COMPETE FOR CHAMPIONSHIPS. WE USE SPORTS TO TEACH THE CORE VALUES THEY CAN GO OFF AND GRADUATE AND BEAT — BE SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE SORT OF A GREAT OPPORTUNITY. TED: SYNONYMOUS WITH ESPECIALLY BASKETBALL, HOCKEY — THEY HAD A PRETTY GOOD RUN LAST YEAR. BOB: WE ARE THE ONLY SCHOOL IN THE COUNTRY THAT HAS BEEN TO FIVE NCAA BASKETBALL TOURNAMENTS, FIVE HOCKEY TOURNAMENTS, AND THE SCHOOL OF 3800 COMPETING AGAINST THE BIG TIME SCHOOL IS IMPRESSIVE. TED: THAT MUST BE AT A LEVEL TO EXCITEMENT TO HAVE THAT KIND OF SUCCESS AND SUSTAIN IT. YOU ARE TURNING OVER STUDENTS EVERY FIFTH YEAR. BOB: IT IS DIFFICULT BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO RELOAD BUT SUCCESS BREEDS SUCCESS. EVERYONE OF OUR GAMES ON NATIONAL TELEVISION, SO WE HAVE EYEBALLS ON THESE GAMES AND PROVIDENCE IS THE SMALLEST SCHOOL IN THE COUNTRY COMPETING AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL. IT IS A UNIQUE PROGRAM NOT LIKE A MICHIGAN OR NOTRE DAME — WE ARE A SMALL SCHOOL BUT COMPETING AT THE BEST IN ATHLETIC AND ACADEMIC AREAS. TED: WHEN YOU TOOK OVER IN 2001, EVERY TIME YOU READ A STORY OF THE HISTORY, HE DID NOT NECESSARILY HAVE THE FINANCIAL AND FUNDRAISING THAT PEOPLE WHO WANTED ATHLETICS NEEDED. THAT WAS A CLEAR MISSION, TO BUILD A. HOW BIG OF A CHALLENGE HAS THAT BEEN AND WHY WAS IT SO IMPORTANT WHEN YOU CAME IN? BOB: IT WAS ABOUT CHANGING THE CULTURE. WE WANTED TO LEAD THE COUNTRY, BUT WE HAD NOT INVESTED. WE TOOK EVER GRANTED. A BIG PART OF MY JOB AT THE ANNIVERSARY OF CALIFORNIA WAS TO ENROLL PEOPLE TO SUPPORT US. PROVIDENCE COLLEGE IS TO WISH AND DRIVEN INSTITUTION — IS TUITION DRIVEN INSTITUTION, SO I WENT TO THE COMMUNITY AND SAID, THIS PRIOR TOWN, PROVIDENCE RHODE ISLAND, WE NEED YOUR HELP. IT IS ABOUT RELATIONSHIP BUILDING. AS WE STARTED WITH BABY STEPS, PEOPLE BOUGHT IN. WE HAVE RAISED OVER $100 MILLION TO BUILD THESE BRAND-NEW FACILITIES. A LOT OF THE SUPPORT COMES FROM SEASON-TICKET HOLDERS AND DONORS. WE HAVE BEEN BLESSED BUT YOU HAVE TO RETURN ON THAT INVESTMENT. TED: HOW MUCH MORE A CHALLENGE DO YOU THINK IT IS AS A MAJOR PROGRAM WITHOUT FOOTBALL? HE READ A OTHER PLACES, FOOTBALL CAN BE A REVENUE DRIVER AND ALSO CAN HELP TO BASKETBALL AND THE OTHER ONES. YOU HAVE TO DO IT WITHOUT FOOTBALL. BOB: IT IS AN ADVANTAGE. I WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, AND IT TOOK 90% OF OUR RESOURCES AND TIME. THE FACT OF THE BIG EAST HAS ONE — WON, IF YOU ARE BASKETBALL CENTRIC, I’M NOT DEALING WITH ATHLETES IN FOOTBALL THAT COST OF $30 MILLION TO RUN. THERE ARE VERY FEW PROGRAMS IN THE COUNTRY THAT ACTUALLY MAKE MONEY ON FOOTBALL. IF YOU LOOK AT ANYTHING OUT OF THE POWER FIVE CONFERENCE, THEY ARE LOSING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. TED: IT IS A MYTH THAT THOSE FOOTBALL PROGRAMS WILL LEAD TO A BIG PROFIT. BOB: THE BIG ONES LIKE ALABAMA AND MIAMI DO — I AM TALKING ABOUT THE TOP 25. ONCE YOU GET BY — BEYOND THAT, IT IS LOSING MONEY. TED: RENOVATIONS, ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROJECTS IS THE RUANE FRIAR DEVELOPMENT CENTER. THERE IS A PIECE IN “OF THE JOURNAL” SO TELLS IT — TELL US ABOUT THIS PLACE. BOB: WE TRAVEL TO EVERY SCHOOL IN THE BIG EAST AND IT TOOK OF THEIR BIG IDEAS, BUT WE HAD TO BUILD SOMETHING THAT WAS UNIQUE AND NICHE FOR US AND A LOT OF OUR YOUNG MEN ARE MEN OF COLOR. IT IS DIFFICULT TO FIND A GOOD SPOT TO GET YOUR HAIR CUT. WE THOUGHT, HOW COOL WOULD THAT BE TO HAVE A BARBERSHOP IN THERE. WE HAVE SOME REALLY COOL HIGH PERFORMANCE MACHINES. CRYOGENIC MACHINE REDUCES YOUR BODY TEMPERATURE, SO IT IS LIKE SITTING AND — IN AN ICE BATH FOR AN HOUR. YOU CAN PLUS ALL OF YOUR LACTIC ACID OUT IN TWO MINUTES. WE HAVE MEDITATING ROOMS, ORTHOPEDIC ROOMS, SO A PRETTY COOL SPOT. WE RECRUIT STUDENT-ATHLETES AND IF YOU WANT TO PLAY AND THE NBA WE WHAT HELP YOU GET THERE. TED: THE INVESTMENT IN FACILITIES IS THE MOST RECENT ONE, BUT THERE ARE OTHER BIG PROJECTS. BOB: WE HAVE RENOVATED OR BUILT BRAND-NEW FACILITIES FOR EVERY ONE OF OUR STUDENT ATHLETES. WE WON A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP FIVE YEARS AGO, AND TWO YEARS BEFORE WE WON, WE BUILT A BRAND-NEW RENOVATED SCHNEIDER ARENA. YOU HAVE ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION AND WHEN ONE MAN OR WOMAN COMES IN AND SEES THE FACILITIES, THAT IS A DIFFERENTIATOR FOR THE TOP EDITION. — FOR THE COMPETITION. WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO THAT. TED: WE’RE GOING TO TAKE A BREAK AND WE COME BACK, WE WILL TALK MORE WITH BOB DRISCOLL ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON AT PROVIDENCE COLLEGE ATHLETICS AND HOW YOU BALANCE THE ACADEMIC MISSION ♪ TED: WELCOME BACK TO “EXECUTIVE SUITE.” LATER ON IN THE SHOW, WE WILL HEAR FROM THE HEAD OF THE RHODE ISLAND TEXTILE INNOVATION NETWORK ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING AROUND THE INDUSTRY. BUT WE CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION WITH BOB DRISCOLL, THE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR OF PROVIDENCE COLLEGE. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE BUSINESS OF COLLEGIATE SPORTS. BOB, YOU TALKED EARLY AND MENTIONED THAT YOUR MISSION IS TO HAVE A PROGRAM WHERE STUDENTS EXCEED ACADEMICALLY AND WE HAVE STUDENTS THAT HAVE LACKLUSTER RECORDS, AND SCANDALS AND CHEATING. DO YOU THINK IT IS A HINDRANCE THAT PC PLACES AN EMPHASIS ON GOOD EDUCATIONAL AND OTHER PLACES ARE NOT TAKING THAT SERIOUSLY? BOB: THE PUBLIC, MOST PEOPLE ARE NOT HAPPY WITH WHAT YOU ARE SEEING AT SCHOOLS AT OHIO STATE OR MARYLAND WHERE YOUNG MEN DIED BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT TREATED THE RIGHT WAY. FIRST, EDUCATION. YOU HAVE MORE CHANCE OF BEING A NARROW THAN A BEING IN THE NBA OR NFL, SO ARE FOCUSING TO BE ON EDUCATION. WE GRADUATE 92% OF OUR STUDENT ATHLETES. SO OUR STUDENT LAST — ATHLETES ARE GRADUATING AND WE ARE DOING OUR JOB IF WE ARE NOT ENSURING THAT. WINNING IS IMPORTANT BUT NOT THE COST OF STUDENT ATHLETES. THERE IS A NICHE FOR THAT. EVERYBODY IN THE BIG EAST IS DOING THAT AND IN OUR DAY AND AGE, WE NEED THAT MORE THAN EVER. TED: WHAT STANDS OUT AS AN INTERVENTION OR A WAY THAT YOU HANDLE BALANCING? I CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT LIFE IS LIKE FOR A PC BASKETBALL PLAYER GOING TO MARCH MADNESS, TRYING TO GO HOME AND DO OUT APPROPRIATE WHAT DO YOU TRY TO DO, WHILE STILL PERFORMING AT A HIGH LEVEL? BOB: STARTS IN THE RECRUITING PROCESS. I TELL MY PLAYERS, HAVE TWO DREAMS — HAVE A DREAM OF GETTING AN EDUCATION, AND PRO SPORTS. THE REALITY, YOUR CAREER IS GOING TO BE OVER AS AN ATHLETE AND YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE YOUR LIVING OFF OF YOUR EDUCATION. IT STARTS SLOWLY IN THE CONVERSATION BUT IT HAS TO BE PART OF THE DIALOGUE WHEN YOU ARE RECRUITING. YOU COME TO PROVIDENCE AND THE CULTURE IS EDUCATION FIRST. THEY BUY INTO IT, WE SURROUND THEM WITH ACADEMIC SUPPORT, SO WE ARE PROUD OF THAT. THAT IS PART OF THE CULTURE. WE WILL NOT RECRUIT A YOUNG MAN THAT IS NOT WANT TO GET THEIR DEGREE. I DIE LIKE CHRIS DUNN WHO WAS A FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK, HE STAYED NEXT REP YEAR BECAUSE — STAYED AN EXTRA YEAR BECAUSE GETTING YOUR EDUCATION IS IMPORTANT. TED: WE’RE TALKING ABOUT THE BUSINESS, WHEN YOU GET INTO THE NATIONAL TOURNAMENTS AS BEEN HAPPENING FOR PROVIDENCE COLLEGE, DO YOU SEE A BUMP AND OVERALL ADMISSIONS INCREASE, VERY MUCH INCLUDING NONATHLETES BECAUSE THE AMOUNT OF ATTENTION? BOB: YES, OUR NUMBERS ARE AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH. YOU CAN LOOK BACK AT THE BOSTON COLLEGE, WHEN THEY WON THAT ORANGE BALL, IT WENT OFF THE CHARTS. VILLANOVA, THEY ARE WAY UP OVER 40,000 APPLICATIONS BECAUSE OF TWO NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS. WHEN YOU MAKE IT TO THE NCAA TOURNAMENT, IT IS A BIG DEAL. THERE IS NO QUESTION THE CORRELATION BETWEEN HAVING SUCCESS IN SPORT AND YOUR NATIONAL PROFILE. TED: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE DEBATES OVER PAYING COLLEGE PLAYERS? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS? BOB: IF YOU DID THAT, YOU WOULD HAVE TO CUT MOST OF YOUR PROGRAMS. THERE IS ONLY ONE SPORE AT PROVIDENCE COLLEGE THAT MAKES MONEY AND THAT IS BASKETBALL. AT OTHER SCHOOLS, IT MIGHT BE BASKETBALL/FOOTBALL. IF YOU HAD TO START PAYING THOSE, YOU WOULD GET DOWN TO THE MINIMUM SOBER TAKE A — SO IT WOULD TAKE AWAY A LOT OF OPPORTUNITY FROM WOMEN AND MEN. EVERY YEAR, WE ARE ABLE TO GIVE OUR STUDENT ATHLETES AN ADDITIONAL $3500, BUT JUST THE TUITION PLUS TRAVEL IS WELL OVER $100,000. THEY ARE EATING GOOD MEALS, CHARTERED PLANES, SO THE AVERAGE INCOME IS $40,000 A YEAR, IF THEY ARE GETTING $100,000 WORTH, THAT IS A PRETTY GOOD PAYDAY. SHOULD WE GIVE THEM MORE? PROBABLY, BUT YOU WOULD PUT COLLEGE SPORTS OUT OF BUSINESS IF YOU STARTED PAYING EVERYBODY. TED: WHEN YOU LOOK AHEAD, YOU HAVE MADE ALL OF THESE INVESTMENTS IN FACILITIES, BUILDING THE PROGRAMS — WHEN YOU LOOK OUTWARD, WHAT ARE ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE NEXT CHALLENGE? BOB: I’M ENTHUSIASTIC BUT I HAVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TO MY PRESIDENT AND COACHES, SO WE HAVE A CULTURE OF SUCCESS. WE GET A LOT OF MONEY FROM FOX TO TELEVISE OUR GAMES, THE NEXT ITERATION OF THAT CONTRACT NEGOTIATION BECAUSE YOUNG PEOPLE ARE NOT WATCHING GAMES AS MUCH, THE NUMBERS ARE GOING DOWN, AND WHETHER YOU CAN MAKE THAT KIND OF MONEY. ALSO THE ISSUES OF RELATIVITY OF WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN WITH THE NATIONAL PROFILE OF SPORTS. THEY ARE LOOKING AT BASKETBALL RIGHT NOW WITH AN INVESTIGATION AND THERE IS NEGATIVITY AROUND THAT — DOES THAT MEAN THAT PEOPLE WILL WATCH LESS OF THE GAMES? OUR DONORS USED TO BE ABLE TO WRITE OFF THEIR TICKETS, THEY CANNOT DO THAT, BUT AT THE STOCK MARKET GOES DOWN, WE ARE NOT WANT TO BE ABLE TO RAISE THE KIND OF MONEY BECAUSE OF RESOURCES. I SAY FOCUSED ON THE DAY AND I THINK THE FUTURE WILL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF. TED: THANK YOU. HOW MANY AGAIN? BOB: SIX AND A ROW. TED: BOB DRISCOLL, THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME. WHEN WE COME BACK, WE’LL TALK TO THE HEAD OF THE RHODE ISLAND TEXTILE ANIMATION NETWORK. STICK WITH US ON “EXECUTIVE TED: WELCOME BACK TO “EXECUTIVE SUITE.” I AM TED NESI. WE ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT TEXTILES AND NO ONE BETTER TO JOIN US THAN THE PRESIDENT OF THE RHODE ISLAND TEXTILE INNOVATION NETWORK, MICHAEL WOODY WHO WAS ALSO CEO OF A TEXTILE COMPANY. THINGS FOR JOINING ME. MICHAEL: — THANKS FOR JOINING ME. MICHAEL: THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME. TED: PEOPLE WATCHING THEM KNOW THAT TEXTILES ARE IMPORTANT AND ARE VAGUELY AWARE OF WHAT IT IS. REMIND PEOPLE, WHY TEXTILES IS SUCH A CRUCIAL PART OF THE RHODE ISLAND ECONOMY STORY. MICHAEL: TEXTILES ARE LEGACY INDUSTRY IN RHODE ISLAND. THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION BEGAN IN NANTUCKET AS DID THE TEXTILE INDUSTRY. THE INDUSTRY THAT BEGAN IN RHODE ISLAND WAS THE BEGINNING OF THE U.S. INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. IT IS A LEGACY INDUSTRY. IT IS GOOD THAT WE PRESERVE AND STRENGTHEN. TED: NOSEK GREAT THAT THE INDUSTRY SUFFERED A REALLY SHARP DECLINE IN THE 20 CENTURY. BUT THERE WAS A BIG DECLINE, THAT SAID — AND THE INDUSTRY NEVER DISAPPEARED AND THERE WERE COMPANIES THAT STILL DO TEXTILES TO THIS DAY. WE WILL TALK ABOUT HOW MUCH TEXTILES ARE IN TODAY? MICHAEL: THERE ARE STILL 70 TEXTILE COMPANIES HERE IN RHODE ISLAND AND THE REPRESENTS 2500 JOBS, SO IT IS A BIG INDUSTRY STILL IN RHODE ISLAND. YES, WE HAVE GONE THROUGH A LOT OF TRIBULATIONS, BUT THE TEXTILE COMPANIES THAT HAVE SURVIVED THE MASSIVE OFF SHORING OF THE 60’S AND 70’S AND OF GONE THROUGH THE GREAT RECESSION ARE FAR MORE INVOLVED IN ADVANCED TEXTILES THE MOST EVIL REALIZE. TED: I’M GOING TO GO TO THE SHOWING TO TELL. WE HAVE THE SHOT — SHOW AND TELL. WE HAVE A SHOT, A MANIKIN — MANNEQUIN ON SET. WHAT ARE WE LOOKING AT? MICHAEL: DAVE IS A DUMMY BUDDY IS SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW THAT WHEN HE IS IN A RIOT, HE HAS TO WEAR PROPER TACTICAL GEAR. TIS — THIS SUIT IS DESIGNED FOR COMBAT TRAINING INCLUDING PROTECTING FROM KNIVES. THE TEXTILES FROM THE UNIFORM IS WALDEN FROM STAINLESS STEEL THREAD, IT IS ANTI-MICROBIAL AND FIRE RESISTANT. IT STILL ALLOWS THE FABRIC TO BREATHE, AND A TOTAL OF EIGHT KINDS OF TEXTILES. SOME TEXTILE FABRICS FROM NORTHEAST KNITTING IN PAWTUCKET, SO THIS IS THE KIND OF APPAREL THAT RHODE ISLAND TEXTILES IS — TED: YOU MENTIONED A FEW, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE OTHER SIGNIFICANT TEXTILE COMPANIES MAKING THESE? MICHAEL: THERE ARE A NUMBER OF THEM, TOO MANY TO MENTION BUT COMPANIES LIKE THE COOLEY GROUP, NO CARRIERRINGRINGCONNECT 38400+++ BEEN HERE FOR OVER 100 YEARS. TED: YOUR COMPANY IS A TEXTILE MAKER, SOTELO’S LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR OWN COMPANY? MICHAEL: WE MANY FACTURE COMMERCIAL GOODS, FOR THE PRODUCTS THAT WE MAKE ARE NOT ADVANCED. WE MADE EXIT THINGS LIKE LANYARDS, WRISTBANDS, HAND BANDS — WE MANUFACTURE THINGS LIKE LANYARDS, WRISTBANDS, HAND BANDS, SO WE DO VERY SHORT CUSTOMIZED PRODUCTION RUNS, QUICK TURNAROUND, AND HIGH-QUALITY. TED: IT SOUNDS LIKE JUST THE KIND OF THINGS THAT SO MANY COMPANIES LOST TO CHINA WHERE THEY CAN COMPETE SO CHEAP. HOW OF YOU CONTINUED TO MAKE A LANYARD AND RHODE ISLAND THAT WORKS FINANCIALLY WHEN THERE IS SO MUCH COMPETITION FROM OFFSHORE. MICHAEL: WE COMPETE DIRECTLY EVERY DAY WITH CHINA AND THE REASON WE ARE ABLE TO BEAT THEM, WE FOCUS ON FEWER, FASTER, FINER. FEWER, MORE CUSTOMIZED PRODUCTION RUNS. 28 HOUR OR 48 HOUR TURNS, AND FINER. CHINA CANNOT COMPETE. TED: THE TARIFFS, HOW HAS THE T ARIFF DISCUSSION IMPACTED THE TEXTILES? MICHAEL: MOST OF THE TEXTILE COMPANIES ARE PRIMARY MANUFACTURERS SO TARIFFS COULD BE GOOD, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT ON END PRODUCTS RATHER THAN INPUT. IF THEY ARE ON INPUT PARTS , THAT IS NOT AS EFFECTIVE FOR MANUFACTURING. TED: THERE IS A BETTER WAY TO DO IT? MICHAEL: ABSOLUTELY. TED: YOU ARE PRESIDENT OF THIS GROUP, SO HOW DID IT COME ABOUT AND WHAT IS THE GOAL? MICHAEL: WE CAME ABOUT DUE TO THE PUSH OF SHELDON WHITEHOUSE — HE RALLIED. HE RALLIED THE TEXTILE COMPANIES TOGETHER BACK IN LATE FALL OF 2016. HE PUSHED US TO SAY THAT TEXTILES ARE IMPORTANT TO RHODE ISLAND, LET’S GET AN INDUSTRY CLUSTER TOGETHER TO MAKE SURE WE KEEP TEXTILE ME FRACTURING — TEXTILE MANUFACTURING IN RHODE ISLAND. ABOUT A YEAR AGO, WE HAD OUR OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF JUST THE LAST MONDAY. TED: YOU GET TOGETHER, YOU TALK AND DISCUSS ISSUES. WHAT IS YOUR GRAND PLAN FOR HAVING THIS FOR THE INDUSTRY? MICHAEL: THE KEY TO SUCCESS IS NOT ONLY WORKING WITH FELLOW TEXTILE COMPANIES. WE ARE COLLABORATING WITH URI, R IZBY, THE SHADY – CHEVY CENTER, SO WE ARE ALSO WORKING WITH POLARIS — TED: HAD THEM ON THE SHOW. MICHAEL: HAD A GREAT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE RHODE ISLAND MANUFACTURING ASSOCIATION, SO WE ARE ALL ABOUT COLLABORATION AS OPPOSED TO TEXTILE COMPANIES TRYING TO COME TOGETHER. TED: ANY SUCCESSES SO FAR? WHAT ARE YOU FEELING GOOD ABOUT? MICHAEL: OUR WEBSITES. WWW. RITIN.ORG. TAKE A LOOK AT OUR WEBSITE, I PARTICULARLY ASK FOLKS AT THE AUDIENCE TO TAKE A LOOK AT OUR VIDEOS. WE HAVE VIDEOS OF THREE TEXTILE WORKERS. IF YOU LISTEN TO WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY, FOLKS WILL REALIZE THAT OUR TEXTILE COMPANIES IN RHODE ISLAND ARE NOT ONLY CREATING JOBS, BUT CAREERS. OUR NONSUPERVISORY TEXTIT LE WORKERS MAKE MORE IT ON AVERAGE THAN THOSE THAT WORK IN RETAIL. THERE ARE GREAT TEXTILE JOBS AND CAREERS FOR FOLKS THAT ARE INTERESTED. TED: HAD HE BEEN ABLE TO FIND THE WORKFORCE YOU NEED? EVERYWHERE YOU TURN, THERE WAS A WORKER WITH THE PSALM EXPERIENCE AND TO NOW, IT IS A GROUP OF COMPANIES THAT IT IS HARDER TO FIND PEOPLE THAT INCOME IN. MICHAEL: A GREAT QUESTION. WHEN WE SURVEY OUR TEXTILE COMPANIES, ONE OF THE FIRST THING THEY MENTION IS HOW DO WE CLOSE THE SKILLS GA. PWE CAME UP WITH AN IDEA WITH NATIONAL LEGISLATION FOR A TRAINING PROGRAM THAT WOULD PAY A COMPANY TO USE A RETIREE TO TRAIN THEIR REPLACEMENT. MOST JOB TRAINING IS VERY GENERAL. TED: WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY RIGHT NOW FOR THE INDUSTRY? MICHAEL: THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY IS TO CONTINUE TO GO DOWN THE PATH OF PARTNERING WITH OUR COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, CREATING GREAT NEW PRODUCTS — I’VE ANOTHER EXAMPLE THAT I CAN SHOW YOU LATER. FOR US, IT IS ABOUT ADVANCING TEXTILE MANUFACTURING. NOT T-SHIRTS. TED: WE WILL HAVE YOU BACK ON FOR THE NEXT SHOW. MICHAEL WOODY, PRESIDENT OF THE RHODE ISLAND TEXTILE INNOVATION NETWORK. MICHAEL: AND CRANSTON, RHODE ISLAND. TED: A LOT OF COMPANIES — YOU CAN TEST THIS EPISODE AND EVERY EPISODE ON WPRI.COM . WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT WEEK.

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