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SBA Names Makerspace Training, Collaboration, Hiring Pilot Winners
New York Ag Connection - 08/21/2019

The U.S. Small Business Administration Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton announced the winners of the Makerspace Training, Collaboration and Hiring (MaTCH) Pilot Competition. The SBA awarded $1 million in prize money to competition winners.

"It is my privilege to announce the 12 winners of the SBA' s MaTCH Pilot Competition. The MaTCH competition is a testament to the SBA's commitment to identifying employment opportunities and supporting small business' workforce recruitment and retention," said Pilkerton. "Makerspaces are uniquely positioned to help innovate training for the workforces of today and tomorrow, and spur economic development across the country. Through the MaTCH competition, the winners will be able to directly support vocational education, develop apprenticeships, and cultivate access to entrepreneurship. In addition, I am pleased to note that multiple winners are located in Opportunity Zones where job creation and investments are moving forward to revitalize communities."

The SBA's MaTCH Pilot Competition awarded grants according to the following tiers:

Seed: up to $25,000 will be awarded to seed small workforce development programs.

Proof of Principle: up to $100,000 will be awarded to grow programs with a proven history of training and/or workforce development.

Scale: up to $200,000 will be awarded for capacity building of successful existing programs with a strong history of training and/or workforce development. This winner would also have graduated participants in at least two training cycles.

One of the Proof of Principle winners is Net Positive, The Foundry in Buffalo which received $100,000.

Located in an Opportunity Zone on Buffalo's East Side, The Foundry operates four distinct Makerspaces: a MetalShop, TechLab, TextileLab and WoodShop. The Mission of The Foundry is to increase neighborhood prosperity by empowering individuals through education and entrepreneurship. Net Positive will use the award from SBA's MaTCH competition to augment their program to create more options and opportunities for immediate employment participants, branching from the trades to higher paying options in industry by developing comfort with and expertise in making and crafting using computers and hands; minds and machines.

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