An industry that several years ago provided many jobs in Rocky Ford and La Junta could in the not-too-distant-future possibly provide employment opportunities once again in the Arkansas Valley.


An industry that several years ago provided many jobs in Rocky Ford and La Junta could in the not-too-distant-future possibly provide employment opportunities once again in the Arkansas Valley.


The apparel manufacturing industry is beginning to return to American soil after being abroad and in Mexico for 20+ years. And the small towns in rural Colorado are being explored as possible sites in which to set up small sew centers (4-10 jobs) to provide the manufacturing facilities for designer boutique lines of wearing apparel and other sewn goods.


The public is invited to attend a meeting on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, from 1 to 3 p.m. to learn more about the return of the industry and what it could mean to the small communities in the Arkansas Valley. The meeting will be held at the Business and Arts Incubator at 408 North Main Street in Rocky Ford.


Rural Colorado Apparel Manufacturing (RCAM) is an innovative concept to create employment in small, rural towns across Colorado. RCAM is presently being developed as a network of apparel manufacturing centers in the rural areas of Colorado where jobs are scarce and wages are low. The rural areas of Colorado have vacant buildings in every small town; a ready workforce of individuals with high skills in sewing and garment construction; and communities that desire to develop new economies in their small towns. The first RCAM sewing center opened Jan. 4, 2016, in Wray, and other centers are being planned for northeast and southeast Colorado.


Colorado is quickly becoming a center of apparel and sewn goods companies, especially in the active sports, leisure and outdoor apparel markets. There is already a cluster of apparel and sewn product businesses in the Denver-metro area, and the RCAM will build on that foundation to find solutions for those established businesses to expand the opportunities to manufacture within the rural areas of the state.


For more information about RCAM, the sew center concept, or the meeting, contact Julie Worley at 384-7656.