The Sunshine Economy
1:15 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Video: How A Miami Designer Fashions His Workforce

Designer Rene Ruiz (left) instructs workers on the finer points of dress making.
Designer Rene Ruiz (left) instructs workers on the finer points of dress making.
Credit Tom Hudson

Designing high fashion is an art. So is making those designs into dresses.

Designer Rene Ruiz does both from a low-slung building in Hialeah. His factory is tucked in with furniture makers and hurricane shutters installers. About 50 people work there making dresses for Ruiz's well-heeled clients in South Florida and for his dresses destined for Neiman Marcus stores.

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One challenge Ruiz has is finding qualified people. One hears that complaint a lot from business owners in different industries across South Florida.

So how does a company go about ensuring it has a supply of quality people to do the work?

Ruiz uses internships to train students. He's hired two former interns already. And he trains local residents on jobs such as fashion design patterns and sewing, as we witnessed first-hand when we visited the factory: