Located in Newark, the NJIT Makerspace is a rapid prototyping and collaboration facility where engineers, technologists, architects, designers, and scientists can create and test ideas, put theory into practice, and turn ideas into reality. “As a winner of SBA’s MaTCH Pilot Competition, NJIT will provide a program designed to offer the needed foundation for individuals to secure an entry level advanced manufacturing job, and the option to pursue further training in an Apprenticeship Program or a college education in Advanced Manufacturing,” said Bulger.
“It’s exciting that the NJIT was awarded $125,000 in MaTCH competition awards that will empower a stronger connection between the maker’s community and job creation in New Jersey. This SBA investment provides an added economic boost to local communities, reaffirming President Trump’s commitment to supporting new forms of vocational education, developing apprenticeships, independent work, and cultivating access to entrepreneurship,” added Bulger.
He also noted that the Atlantic Region had two additional MaTCH winners in Buffalo, NY and Gurabo, Puerto Rico; giving the region at least one winner from its coverage area, the only region of the country to do so, with a total of $250,000 in prize money.
The SBA’s MaTCH Pilot Competition awarded grants according to the following tiers:
- Seed: up to $25,000 will be awarded to seed small workforce development programs.
- Proof of Principle: up to $100,000 will be awarded to grow programs with a proven history of training and/or workforce development.
- Scale: up to $200,000 will be awarded for capacity building of successful existing programs with a strong history of training and/or workforce development. This winner would also have graduated participants in at least two training cycles.
The Fab Lab Puerto Rico (Gurabo, PR) – Awarded $25,000
The Fab Lab Puerto Rico located in Escuela Internacional de Diseño y Arquitectura of Universidad Ana G. Méndez, Recinto de Gurabo (Gurabo Campus), and in a designated Opportunity Zone. The Fab Lab Puerto Rico will use their award from SBA’s MaTCH competition to support a Digital Production Technician Certification through the Continuing Education Program to address the job skills and placement gap in Puerto Rico’s local businesses. The Fab Lab Puerto Rico will also offer services to the private and public sectors such as non-profits, entrepreneurs, and the local community, including among other, the vocational and STEAM educational sector, non-profits, local artists, entrepreneurs, and inventors.
Proof of Principle Winners:
Net Positive, The Foundry (Buffalo, NY) – Awarded $100,000
Located in an Opportunity Zone on Buffalo’s East Side, The Foundry operates four distinct Makerspaces: a MetalShop, TechLab, TextileLab and WoodShop. The Mission of The Foundry is to increase neighborhood prosperity by empowering individuals through education and entrepreneurship. Net Positive will use the award from SBA’s MaTCH competition to augment their program to create more options and opportunities for immediate employment participants, branching from the trades to higher paying options in industry by developing comfort with and expertise in making and crafting using computers and hands; minds and machines.