The Makery receives $10,000 grant ThinkVermont Innovation program

The Makery, Addison County’s maker space located at the Patricia Hannaford Career Center, has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the State of Vermont ThinkVermont Innovation program.  The grant program supports new business strategies that promote economic development, vibrant communities and serve as models for other enterprises to follow. The Makery was one of 16 grant awardees to receive a portion of the $160,000 after the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development scored and considered a total of 45 grant applications for the funds. ACEDC serves on The Makery steering committee, helped with the grant application, and wrote a letter of support.

The vision of The Makery is to provide a place for Addison County residents to imagine, experiment, network, collaborate, and create for personal and professional growth. The Makery utilizes the Hannaford Career Center’s infrastructure to provide the community with a maker space. It is a membership-based collaborative that currently offers an Engineering Lab/3D Printing, a Building Trades Lab, and a Sewing Lab. from 5 to 9 p.m. every Thursday.

The grant will allow The Makery to hire a part-time coordinator and eventually to expand to additional days and hours and, if mentors can be found, to open additional labs. Funds may also be used for new supplies for the various Makery labs, repairs, and maintenance of equipment, and scholarships for folks who can’t afford the full monthly membership fee of $20.

Area businesses can support the growth of The Makery in several ways:

  • Encourage employees to become members. Membership is only $20/month and a family rate will soon be available.

  • Encourage employees to become mentors: For the Makery to offer more hours and open new labs, mentors are required. Mentors cover a lab in four-hour shifts and need to be versed in the skills of the lab in which they wish to mentor, be willing to help with suggestions, monitor and model safe tool use, and to share all the cool things that they know. Mostly, a mentor is there to help makers if they get stuck on how to proceed and avoid frustration.

  • Sponsor the Makery or a Makery event.  This can be a traditional cost underwriting sponsorship but there are endless other possibilities.  Perhaps you or an employee of yours can offer a cool workshop or class that will draw participants in to learn.  Perhaps you can offer merchandise, food, or discounts as incentives for our underpaid (well, actually volunteer) mentors.  

  • Donate machinery, equipment, and supplies.  Check first, of course, but wood, fabric, software, router bits, saw blades, sandpaper, and 3-D printer filament are always in demand!

Contact Dana Peterson  and Len Schmidt  for more information, questions, or offers to be involved.  We are committed to serving the creative interests of Addison County.