Cotton Inc. Launches Cotton U

Education, online program is aimed at students and professionals.

NEW YORK — Cotton Incorporated has launched a new tool for the textile industry called Cotton University, a free online resource positioned as part digital campus, part professional network.

This story first appeared in the October 15, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Aimed at nurturing the next generation of textile-industry professionals through education and engagement, the site is a project of the Cotton Board Importer Support Program and managed by Cotton Inc.

Mark Messura, senior vice president for global supply chain marketing at Cotton Inc., the research and promotion company for cotton, said the program incorporates “the collective expertise of Cotton Incorporated into a 21st-century multimedia campus and a 24-7 networking opportunity for students and professionals.”

The Cotton University curriculum is divided into nine subject-focused colleges — Denim Manufacturing, Finishing, Dyeing, Garment Manufacturing, Printing, Quality Assurance, Knitting, Yarn Manufacturing and Weaving — each offering self-paced course work and certifications of completion. The course work is guided by faculty comprised of technical experts from Cotton Inc. and instructors from well-respected educational institutions. The course work is supplemented with an online Library that includes a textile encyclopedia, a glossary of textile manufacturing and fabric terminology, and streaming videos. Cotton Inc. expects a number of design and textile technical schools will give classroom credit for student participation in the site’s courses.

Cotton University, found at cottonuniversity.org, connects students with the cotton industry, and professionals within the industry to one another, through discussion groups, topical Webinars and special online projects.

“The popularity of Cotton Incorporated workshops, seminars and conferences grows year after year,” said Messura. “The relevancy of their content is the key driver for participation, but the opportunity to engage with others in the industry is also a factor. Cotton University merges these two functions into a Web-based platform that expands the reach of educational programs and expedites focused industry networking.”