Federal Grant Will Fund Textile Innovation Center Feasibility Study in Lawrence

Washington (October 3, 2017) - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey, along with Representative Niki Tsongas and Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera, announced today that the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded a federal grant of nearly $41,000 to the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission (MVPC) to fund the Lawrence Textile Innovation Center feasibility study in Lawrence, Massachusetts.  The funding, which was awarded through the EDA's Planning and Local Technical Assistance Program, will be used to study the establishment of a sustainable innovation center that would generate jobs and support the next generation of textile manufacturing in Massachusetts.

"Lawrence and the Merrimack Valley are once again leading the way in textile manufacturing. This grant will help the city and region move forward with innovation that promises to create good jobs and to spur economic growth," said Senator Elizabeth Warren. "I'm glad to partner with Mayor Rivera, Congresswoman Tsongas, and Senator Markey to help secure this federal funding for the City of Lawrence."

"The looms of Merrimack Valley's past are giving way to the advanced textiles of its future, and Lawrence is poised to be a hub for this new manufacturing revolution. This grant will help realize a new vision for economic growth and innovation in Lawrence, based on the fabrics, fibers and filaments of the 21st century," said Senator Edward J. Markey. "I congratulate the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission for securing these funds for this study and look forward to continuing the federal-local partnership in the future."

"Two centuries ago, when the first mills were constructed along the Merrimack River, Lawrence helped change the way textile production was scaled and brought to market. Today, Lawrence is poised to be at the forefront of a modern textile revolution. Wearable technologies, biosensors integrated into our clothing, and textiles made with new, innovative materials will change the way society sees and uses fabrics and fibers," said Representative Niki Tsongas. "This grant will help determine the feasibility of creating a Textile Innovation Center where entrepreneurs and textile developers can collaborate to scale pioneering textile manufacturing. This is another example of the innovation renaissance taking place in Lawrence and across the Merrimack Valley, as communities bridge past and present in order to create a bright future."

"The textile industry fueled the Lawrence economy a century ago providing thousands of its residents with a path to the middle class. Despite the long absence of a flourishing textile industry in Lawrence, the presence of companies like 99 Degrees Custom and National Fiber Technology have kept it alive but in a different form," Mayor Daniel Rivera said. "Old textile manufacturing has left the city and country to make way for new age textile manufacturing like the companies listed above. These grant dollars will help guide the city towards reviving the textile industry to a city that was built for that very purpose. Thanks to the federal delegation and the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission for their continued support."