What is Forge Ahead?
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.
Why support Forge Greensboro?
Supporting the Forge is means supporting a community and springboard for small business, workforce development, startup inventors, artists, and artisans. All members are given affordable access to machinery for woodworking, welding, sewing, 3D printing, laser engraving, electronics and ceramics to explore the act of making.
What doe the campaign support?
- 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.