Portland Press Herald Portfolio

A former adviser to the AFL-CIO, Ben Waxman has embraced manufacturing in a new way. Last week, he launched American Roots, a company that makes Polartec fleece clothing and blankets in the Danforth Street space shared by his mother’s company, Old Port Wool and Textile Co. In a release, Waxman said the company will make customized fleece garments for corporations, institutions, unions and individuals out of Polartec fleece. It will be the only provider of union-made, American-made Polartec outerwear in the United States.

His business model calls for training immigrants and the disadvantaged to do the production work; some workers began a 12-week training program for their positions this summer.

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