AAFA’S CHOICE: The American Apparel & Footwear Association has selected the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative, part of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, as its beneficiary for the 2017 AAFA American Image Awards, revealed Rick Helfenbein, president and chief executive officer of the AAFA.

The American Image Awards will take place on April 24 at 583 Park Avenue in New York, honoring Person of the Year, Retailer of the Year, Company of the Year, Designer of the Year and Fashion Maverick.

FMI, in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corp., or NYCEDC, funds grants for advancements in manufacturing and training, design innovation and production intelligence. Established in 2012, the FMI has awarded more than $2 million in grants to emerging businesses that are incubating new products and processes to strengthen the industry’s workforce in the future.

In supporting FMI, Helfenbein said, “We are committed to advancing the people, policies and processes that are imperative for our industry to grow and profit in a rapidly evolving economy.”

“The CFDA Fashion Manufacturing Initiative is an important program to preserve garment manufacturing in New York,” added Steven Kolb, president and ceo of the CFDA. “With the support of the AAFA, we are able to continue and expand those efforts.”