[Excerpt] The Garment Industry Development Corporation (GIDC) was set up in New York City in 1984, and is governed by a tripartite board of the ILGWU, industry, and the City of New York. Initially GIDC s efforts were geared to protecting garment shops and the jobs of union members from rent-gouging landlords in New York s over-heated real estate market. Subsequently, GIDC developed skills upgrading programs for sewing machine operators pattern graders and small contractors. Its popular "Super Sewers" program provides eight weeks of intensive training on every sewing operation involved in making garments and includes Enghsh-as-a-Second language instruction. The program prepares operators for better-paying jobs in shops producing higher-value garments.