Meredith Village Savings Bank (MVSB) has purchased $25,000 in tax credits through the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) in support of the Makers Mill (G.A.L.A. Makerspace) project in Wolfeboro. These funds will support the organization’s goal of being a dedicated makerspace and collaborative work space for making, learning, exploring, and sharing. Community members will be able to enter Makers Mill with an idea or goal, find tools, equipment, mentors, collaborators and a creative working environment, and leave the space with a new skill, product prototype, lead on an apprenticeship or business plan.
MVSB’s support will significantly contribute to the success and responsiveness of Makers Mill to community needs as they emerge as an adaptive resource that is increasingly more necessary in the wake of the pandemic. The project is one of 11 dedicated makerspaces in New Hampshire and the first of this scale and scope in Carroll County.
Nearly on a dime, makerspaces across the country pivoted their operations to serve as a stop-gap to the disrupted supply chain of PPEs for local hospitals and health care workers, until larger manufacturers could catch up with demand. Makerspaces will be invaluable as the economy rebounds and people need retraining and re-skilling for the inevitable career transitions ahead.
“We’re very thankful for MVSB’s support of our organization and our mission to strengthen the community by bringing people together to discover, cultivate and share their unique gifts and skills to enrich lives and foster livelihoods,” said Josh Arnold, Executive Director. “The team at MVSB has been interested in supporting this project from our beginning and we’ve enjoyed sharing our exciting progress with them.”
Arnold outlined the ways that Makers Mill will support the local community:
- Providing a physical space with access to tools and equipment for people to tinker, fix, repair, invent, build, cook, craft, break, iterate and innovate. Tools and equipment can be used on site, and some that are part of the tool-library can be borrowed for use at home.
- Maintaining an inspiring shared working environment and facilitating peer-to-peer, apprenticeships, and mentorships. People can feed off one another’s shared interests, curiosity, enthusiasm, ideas, feedback and projects.
- Organizing ongoing classes and skill-exchanges on diverse subjects for people to learn new or advance existing skills, hobbies, and interests.
- Offering a platform for people to teach and share skills, while developing appreciation, visibility and income for their respective craft.
- Coordinating workforce training to close the skills-gap so businesses can grow, especially within the trades sector. These programs are done in partnership with local employers and businesses with acute staffing struggles and needs.
- Credentialing and portfolio-building opportunities that support career mobility and transition. These programs are done in partnership with the Community College System of NH and Career and Technical Education Centers, like Lakes Region Community College and Lakes Region Technology Center respectively.
- Supporting entrepreneurs with affordable entry points to rapid prototyping, fabrication and an inspiring co-working space to help launch and pursue their own business. These programs are done in partnership with economic development agencies including the Wentworth Economic Development Corporation (WEDCO).
- Creating a sense of community and belonging among makers, an anchor to lean on when facing the inevitable ups and downs of being human.
“Makers Mill will provide the skills and resources necessary to ensure that local people can empower themselves to prepare for meaningful and necessary careers as the economy recovers from the current pandemic,” noted Rick Wyman, President of Meredith Village Savings Bank. “In addition, community members can work together immediately to identify and address the needs of our local area today. Makers Mill is edified by practicality and sustainability while remaining uniquely local.”
To support Makers Mill or find more information, visit their website at galacommunity.org .