Teaching Innovative Skills to Create New Job Opportunities in the North of Haiti

MAS Akansyèl S.A. representatives sign grant agreement with USAID LEVE Team.

On November 16, 2017, the USAID Local Enterprise and Value Chain Enhancement (LEVE) Project awarded a partner contribution grant to Sri Lankan-owned and operated MAS Akansyèl S.A., located in the Caracol Industrial Park near Cap Haitian.

Founded in April 2017, MAS Akansyèl S.A. is a subsidiary of Sri Lankan-owned MAS Holdings, a global apparel and textile company with operations in India, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Jordan, United Kingdom, Honduras and the United States. MAS Holdings is one of Asia’s leading manufacturers of intimate apparel, sportswear, performance wear, and swimwear, supplying products to world-renowned brands such as Columbia Sportswear, Lululemon, and Banana Republic. They are vertically integrated, producing their own elastic (Stretchline), bra cups (Silueta), lace (Noyon) and fabric (Trischel). MAS Akansyèl will operate out of the Caracol Industrial Parc (CIP), where they will concentrate on higher-end finished garments, such as yoga and sportswear for their client Lululemon.

MAS Akansyèl sought the assistance of USAID LEVE to support their hiring process and internal training programs. With the help of USAID LEVE, they will be able to expedite their training program to address their immediate need for over 200 workers by the end of 2017, and to reach over $8 million in sales by 2018. The goal is to have 1,800 employees by 2021.

Given that MAS is a full-package manufacturer, their choice to establish operations in the Caracol Industrial Park is another positive move for the development of the Haitian apparel industry, moving away from cut-and-sew to more sophisticated manufacturing. As the garments are more sophisticated, MAS has developed training modules that introduce new skill sets required by their customers, and specialized intimate & activewear production.

Already present in 15 countries, MAS Holdings will invest over $20 million in their operations in Haiti, making this the second largest investment in CIP. MAS plans to hire 1,800 workers by 2021, and generate over $40 million in sales. This investment is part of the company’s strategy to enhance speed of response to market and cost competitiveness by expanding their manufacturing base in this hemisphere, in order to better satisfy their North American customers.