The makerspace has a name and we hope you love it as much as we do!
We landed on Makers Mill as the best fit for many reasons.
First, it’s a nod to the history in this particular part of town: the steam-powered mill of S.W. Clow and Company that operated along Back Bay during the turn of the twentieth century. The symbolism of the mill seemed too serendipitous to pass up and it was important to us to have a place-based reference in our name.
Secondly, it represents a key element of our mission: transformation. Whether it’s a sawmill, gristmill, steel mill, or paper mill, a raw product is transformed into something else with a new purpose or use. That’s exactly what we plan to do at the Makers Mill! Enter the building with an idea or goal, be met with tools, equipment, mentors, collaborators, and a creative working environment, and leave the space with a new skill, or maybe a product prototype, or a lead on an apprenticeship, or a business plan.
Thirdly, a mill also exemplifies a sense of industry and the trades, which aligns with our vocational and workforce goals.
And last but not least, in addition to the historical context, symbolism of transformation, and a vocational reference, we also just really enjoyed how it sounds and rolls off the tongue; Makers Mill.
An accompanying new branding identity including a new logo and website are underway with a release planned for later this summer, so stay tuned!
The Makers Mill will be one of 11 dedicated makerspaces in New Hampshire, the first of this scale and scope in Carroll County. A makerspace is a collaborative work space generally housed within a school, library or separate public/private facility. It is a space for making, learning, exploring, and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools. All makerspaces are different, though many have tools like laser cutters, 3D printers, soldering irons, sewing machines, crafting materials, woodworking tools, welders, and other tools for rapid prototyping, fabrication, fixing, repairing, inventing and otherwise making cool stuff. There are more than 700 makerspaces across the United States, ranging in size from a few dozen members to several hundred. They each offer, usually for a monthly membership fee, access to tools, technology, and classes.
The Makers Mill will be responsive to community needs as they emerge. The importance of this adaptive quality became apparent in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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.
Makers Mill: Community Makerspace & Vocation Hub will . ..
• Provide 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.
• Maintain an inspiring shared working environment and facilitates peer-to-peer, apprenticeships, and mentorships. People feed off one another’s shared interests, curiosity, enthusiasm, ideas, feedback, and projects.
• Organize ongoing classes and skill-exchanges on diverse subjects for people to learn new or advance existing skills, hobbies, and interests.
• Provide a platform for people to teach and share their skills, developing appreciation, visibility, and income for their respective craft.
• Coordinate workforce training to close the skills-gap so businesses can grow, especially the trades sector. These programs are done in partnership with local employers and businesses with acute staffing struggles and needs.
• Offer 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.
• Support 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 Wentworth Economic Development Corporation (WEDCO).
• Create a sense of community and belonging among makers, an anchor to lean on when facing the inevitable ups and downs of being human.
Does this sound like a facility you’d like to see in your community? If so, consider one of these ways to support the momentum:
- volunteer by serving on a programs, fundraising, or building committee.
- donate or pledge to the capital campaign to help raise the final $350k balance toward Phase One renovations.
- donate tools or equipment to Tool Raiser, drop-off Tues or Thurs 9:30-noon.
- keep your business tax dollars local by participating in GALA’s tax credit offer
- or lastly, invite GALA to share more about their project to your friends, coworkers, or affiliations.
Contact Josh or Carol at 603-569-1500 or email contact@galacommunity to learn more and stay engaged. And if you use social media, follow GALA on Facebook and Instagram @galacommunity for the latest updates and opportunities.