MakerUSA Progress Update!

Earlier this year, NACCE partnered with MakerUSA, which will help communities build stronger pathways for underserved students into making-related careers and entrepreneurship. Making-related careers can include industries from advanced manufacturing and computer science to alternative energy and the skilled trades. The MakerUSA model will place full-time, uniquely-trained, well-supported Program Managers at “Innovation Sites."

Through their Letter of Interest period, MakerUSA encouraged interested partiest to identify areas of alignment between their goals and possible support from MakerUSA. LOI submissions that align with the mission of MakerUSA. We are excited to celebrate their success of launching with 52 pending Innovation Sites across 24 states representing every region of the USA!

These institutions and organizations are leading hubs for innovation in their communities and striving to deepen their impact in advancing maker career pathways, including entrepreneurial pathways. 

On April 22, we opened a Letter of Interest partnership application. By June 1st, MakerUSA had received 52 LOIs from across 24 states (including D.C.). Submissions have come from community and technical colleges, HBCUs, tribal universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, rural-serving public universities, community-based makerspaces and organizations, and leading national nonprofits. 

They collectively serve over 1,000,000 students and represent every region of the country from Appalachia and the Southeast, to the Great Plains and Mountain West; from underserved urban communities in Los Angeles to Cleveland to rural communities from Socorro, NM to Athens, AL.  

Founding partners, Colin Lacy and Dr. Stephanie Santoso wanted the MakerUSA model to begin with community demand and community-defined goals, and then bring that response to the funding community, versus the more common inverse of that order. They are now seeking partnership to answer this response.

If you represent a funder interested in catalytic investments that can advance community-driven innovation and economic mobility across underserved regions, at scale, this is a unique opportunity and we need your support. We encourage you to join NACCE in support of MakerUSA. Request more information about partnership here.