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A Conversation with ISAIC CEO & Chairman, Jen Guarino


This week, SPESA President Michael McDonald had a conversation with Jen Guarino, the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at ISAIC, the Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center. The Detroit-based 501c3 nonprofit centered around people, education, advanced manufacturing, and upward mobility for workers.

As we dive into the theme of workforce development this month, it only felt natural that Guarino be a part of that discussion. Named one of Michigan’s 100 Most Influential Women in 2016 by Crain’s Business Detroit, Guarino has invested her career in building sustainable and responsible supply chains, and maintaining a strong focus on tradespeople and the work they do. She’s committed to quality domestic manufacturing, which was highlighted in August when ISAIC was featured in Crain’s Business Detroit for the work its doing to reinvest in domestic textile manufacturing and recalibrate garment production during and after Covid-19.

In this interview, Guarino and McDonald discuss the changing workforce in the textile and apparel industry in the U.S.; the challenges and opportunities that businesses face as they train the next generation of the industry; and how the current pandemic has drastically and permanently changed the landscape of domestic manufacturing in our industry.


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