Made Right Here is a nonprofit organization that grew out of a $3 million U.S. Department of Labor Workforce Innovation Fund grant ("The New App for Making it in America") awarded in June of 2012 and completed October 31, 2015. Our successes have now included hundreds of lives changed, transformed, or reenergized through a series of events, workshops, and trainings that led to employment outcomes for individuals while meeting employer need.
To date, we have trained over 230 unemployed, underemployed, and dislocated workers on a range of digital tools to prepare them with 21st century skills valuable to both hardware startup companies as well as mature manufacturers. We have successfully placed 85% completing the program into employment, developing their own firms, obtaining contractor work or continuing their training. Of this group, 28% were minority and 26% female. Most often, we have placed the first minority or female into a startup firm as part of our focus is on diversity and inclusion.
Following the end of the US DOL grant period in October 2015, new contracts were awarded to provide our program services to adults in the Career Link system, as well as various other youth organizations, as a registered apprentice as an approved Training Provider. Since the end of the grant period, we have, or are also managing 115 youth and adults in the Maker Professional program. We have capacity, and a working framework to manage more than double the current size program.
Candidates go through a rigorous training program. This includes two parts; formal knowledge training, as well as projectbased hands on technical skills learning. The curriculum includes training in following topics:
Maker Essentials (math, hand tools, measuring, etc.), Maker Safety,
Basic Project Planning,
Working with Teams, Understanding Startups,
Product Design and Prototyping, Creativity and Innovation, Manufacturing and Production.
Inside this accelerated learning module, a candidate will have recognition and understanding of modern manufacturing elements such as LEAN, Green, Cradle to Cradle, OSHA 10, Bill of Materials, DFMA, and Human Centered Design.
In order to become place able for employment, our participants must design, plan, and implement three main projects. This includes a short term (30 days), long term (60 days), and group project. These projects are 100% participant designed and implemented. They will also come out of the training with knowledge of at least five (5) different pieces of equipment (within field of interest/employer prescribed), hree (3) materials, and two (2) pieces of industry related software (such as vCarve, Adobe Illustrator, Cut3D, Fusion 360, FlowPath, etc.).
During 2014-2015, Made Right Here placed 91 individuals with 36 companies. Of those companies, 20 were startups, 15 were mature, and 1 was a university. The average wage rate of these 91 placements was $19.97/hour.
Our goal is to develop individuals who can earn a living by making products whether for the purpose of full time employment, part time employment, contract work, or self-employment. This challenging population, when given the skills training can indeed thrive in a maker community, which provides a loose support structure, inexpensive access to tools, and a community of connection in that environment, which can become their workplace. Our program teaches them how to develop this professional capacity and works within their limitations, habits and desires without regard to an “optimal outcome” for them as a personal Individual Training Plan. It is what they are capable of achieving, given a skillset, a toolset and a community of support form with their desire and motivation, which can create a drive that may not have existed in prior job situations. We essentially work with them to create the job that excites them to “get to work” each day.
Made Right Here has developed and is implementing the Maker Professional Apprenticeship Program for the unemployed, dislocated and underemployed. We train individuals at a local maker space with the knowledge and skills to operate a range of digital tools to become valuable makers/employees in the 21st century workplace. We offer trainees a pathway to becoming a Maker Professional, which is a U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship under the New National Standards. The Maker Professional apprenticeship builds organically on the emergent occupational community of makers. The Maker Movement celebrates learning-by-doing, teamwork and mutual support among community members, and individual and collective project-based problem solving. The Maker Professional Apprenticeship provides a formal support structure that aims to build on and deepen organic learning within the Maker Movement. It also credentials knowledge to help match startups and advanced manufacturers with individuals. But the apprenticeship aims not to rigidify or compartmentalize learning in ways that undermine either the passion of Maker Professionals or the breadth of knowledge that best serves employers. We believe that innovation and making can be revolutionized through increased accessibility to fabrication tools. By putting these tools into the hands of people who typically haven’t had access and doing so in a collaborative maker space emphasizing project-based learning, this project spurs innovation, local manufacturing and economic development.