GREENSBORO, N.C. (Oct 9, 2017) – Forge Greensboro, the largest community makerspace in the Southeast, is launching its “Forge Ahead” fundraising campaign on October 11, 2017. The campaign hopes to raise $200,000 to support membership growth, expand educational workshops and community programs and add new equipment for member use.
“The Forge is an amazing outlet for creative people, as well as a resource for employers looking to hire skilled workers,” said Executive Director Joe Rotondi. “The “Forge Ahead” campaign will equip our makers with the tools they need to actualize their ideas, as well as expand our mentor and career development programs.”
The Forge opened in 2014 as an entirely volunteer-run organization in a 3,400-square-foot space. As membership quickly grew beyond the capacity of the building, the organization moved to its current 8,000-square-foot space in downtown Greensboro in fall 2016 and hired a full-time executive director.
As the most comprehensive creative space in North Carolina, the Forge is an environment for like-minded individuals interested in trade skills and technology to gather and work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, tools and knowledge. Members of the Forge include entrepreneurs, trade students, artists, artisans, hobbyists, families, retirees and curious tinkerers. All members are given affordable access to machinery for woodworking, welding, sewing, 3D printing, laser engraving, electronics and ceramics.
Specific plans for funds from the campaign, for which $20,000 has already been pledged, include:
Supporting the Forge’s Talent and Skills Pipeline Program that helps participants develop professional skills needed for a trade career. This program is directed towards students in Title I middle schools and high schools, the homeless and unskilled workers living in poverty. The program also benefits recent graduates of trade schools who volunteer to teach, and gain access to equipment, resources and professional networks.
Providing more educational classes and workshops for the public. At its current capacity, the Forge offers an average of 10 classes, interactive tours, and workshops to about 50 individuals on a monthly basis. Classes include specialized trade orientations, safety courses, introductory trade workshops and new skill labs.
Helping the Forge address the needs of its growing membership and attract new people to its creative community. The Forge has increased membership by 36 percent in the last year, and over 1,000 people have registered to attend classes or workshops at the Forge in the past year.
Providing resources needed for the growing number of organizations who use the Forge facility to expand education. Member organizations include the Boys and Girls Club of America, UNCG entrepreneurial students, local robotics clubs, A&T Engineering students and faculty, Greensboro Projects Space, and HPU Physics faculty.
Expanding the Forge’s free and open community engagement offerings. Current efforts include innovative education programs, maker meetups, and basic skills training. In addition, the Forge partners with local universities and sponsors to provide students with “makerships,” as a means of furthering their studies, developing businesses and prototyping their ideas. The Forge also hosted the first Greensboro Mini Maker Faire in which thousands of participants come together to advocate for the maker movement and STEM education.
Maintaining and expanding equipment, machines and tools in the facility, and hiring additional staff work alongside its existing volunteer base, to aid in management and further development of the organization.
“The Forge is an invaluable cornerstone in fostering a maker community here in Greensboro,” said Joey Adams, president of the Forge Greensboro Board of Directors. “We are proud of the impact the Forge has on the community, and this campaign will help us make necessary resources accessible to our growing membership.”
Contributions to Forge Greensboro can be made directly on the organization’s website, or mailed to the Forge Greensboro office located at 219 W. Lewis St, Greensboro, North Carolina 27406.
About Forge Greensboro
Forge Greensboro, a 501c3 nonprofit, is the largest community makerspace in the Southeast. The Forge provides members with equipment for woodworking, welding, sewing, 3D printing, laser engraving, 3D design, sheet metal, electronics and ceramics. The core program provides affordable access to tools, technology and a community of entrepreneurs, artists, artisans, inventors, students, skilled trades folk, engineers, hobbyists and tinkerers. Forge Greensboro is an open and accepting environment where people can come and share their skills, experience, ideas, networks and curiosity. For more information visit, www.forgegreensboro.org.
Forge contact: Joe Rotondi, Executive Director, email@example.com