On December 11, 2018, the USAID Local Enterprise and Value Chain Enhancement (LEVE) Project awarded a partner contribution grant of $151,657 to Haiti Premier Apparel S.A., a Haitian-owned apparel manufacturer whose founders have been in the apparel business for over 35 years.
Based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Premier Apparel (HPA) specializes in the production of workwear for the US market. With a current workforce of 1,300 HPA manufactures about 320,000 pieces of workwear per month for four different international clients, including CINTAS, one of the largest buyers operating in Haiti and a strong supporter of the HOPE II/HELP legislation. In 2017, one of HPA’s customers had requested that they increase the production from 28,000 pieces per month to 52,000, and then to 72,000. In order to satisfy the customer ever-growing demand HPA needed to refurbish their equipment and sought the assistance of USAID LEVE to procure the equipment necessary to ramp up production. These new machines will allow HPA to boost output while improving productivity and overall quality. To meet this new challenge, HPA is planning to install one additional production line and instead of being set up as a traditional modular system, where workers are paid as a group, they will install a progressive bundle system, which motivates individual workers to be more productive, as they will get paid more individually, versus as a group. They will hire new workers for this line, as well as an American engineer who will assist in the implementation of the new system.
For this expansion, 60 new operators will be hired immediately, and 150 more within six months to a year. With this investment, HPA expects its total sales revenues to increase by 20%.