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City of Santa Fe, MAKE Santa Fe Earn CommunityWINS Grant Recognizing Neighborhood Revitalization Efforts (VIDEO)
$50,000 will support a Digital Fabrication Youth Lab to equip young Santa Feans with advanced manufacturing workforce skills
A pilot curriculum launched by MAKE Santa Fe with support from the City of Santa Fe Economic Development fund to give young Santa Feans skills to build careers in advanced manufacturing and digital fabrication will receive a big boost this year. MAKE Santa Fe and the City of Santa Fe became one of only 6 city partnerships nationwide to secure a CommunityWINS grant that supports neighborhood revitalization.
The DigiFab Youth Lab teaches “emerging critical skills necessary for succeeding in our rapidly evolving economy,” and launched in 2016 after earning support from the City Economic Development fund in a competitive RFP process focused on workforce development in the community.
As a pilot in partnership with YouthWorks, it has provided over 200 hours of training over each 12-week program, teaching skills in manufacturing and fabrication but also focusing on entrepreneurialism and mentorship, job or apprenticeship placement, design thinking, and employment “soft skills” like teamwork.
With the additional funding, MAKE Santa Fe will be able to expand and adapt its programs to serve multiple cohorts simultaneously and share their experience with other communities.
Mayor Javier M. Gonzales, who accepted the award on behalf of the partnership at a recent United State Conference of Mayors meeting, said, “MAKE Santa Fe puts local people to work in the jobs of the future – helping businesses tap into a more qualified workforce and giving young people a non-college track to a successful career. This is the kind of work we need to be doing to help local people find work and build their lives in this community.
Zane Fischer, MAKE Santa Fe’s co-founder and himself an entrepreneur in digital manufacturing, said, "This Digital Fabrication and Advanced Manufacturing program is providing employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for the young adults in our community. It's delivering the skill sets they need to thrive and innovate going into the future and offering an opportunity to level up in a big way.”
Fischer added, “We're incredibly proud to be partners with The City of Santa Fe and its economic development emphasis on smart, forward thinking workforce and apprenticeship programs."
Watch a video that breaks down the program and features some of the first students: