Over the past several months, Making Matters NH has met with and engaged residents from throughout Concord and around the region. Our community meetings are exciting. People share their ideas and they volunteer to push this project forward by helping us find a space, teaching a class, doing organizational planning, and raising money to make this space a reality.
Our partners and volunteers often discuss why they believe a makerspace is a great investment for the region. We believe that a makerspace will improve Concord’s creative economy and make the city a hub for artisans and makers. The space will support entrepreneurs and small business owners, and make Concord an ideal place to be an innovator and pursue your business idea in a collaborative environment. It will improve our quality of life for new and existing residents and make the area a more attractive place to live. The space will offer education and workforce development opportunities to individuals of all ages and increase our competiveness in an evolving economy.
Creative Economy: The creative economy is vast and lies at the crossroads of arts, technology, and innovation. It includes hobbyists and businesses of all sizes. The Concord region has talented woodworkers, jewelers, painters, metalsmiths, and individuals from numerous other fields. A makerspace will support them by providing shared space, equipment, and resources, making it easier for artisans and makers of all skill levels and interests to be successful. The creative economy improves the quality of life of residents, but it’s also a driver of innovation and productivity growth in the larger economy.
Entrepreneurship and Business Development: A makerspace will benefit entrepreneurs and the business community. The space will provide access to equipment for entrepreneurs and businesses that’s not feasible for them to purchase on their own. Individuals can collaborate on projects, network with other makers and innovators, and receive training that will allow them to succeed. It will provide an opportunity for a computer scientist to team with a robotics expert, supporting both of their emerging ideas. A restauranteur developing their idea can access someone with marketing or business planning expertise, providing essential resources for them to be successful and benefiting a local economy that needs more innovation to thrive.
Quality of Life: Making the Concord region a place where people want to live is essential for supporting existing residents and attracting new ones. Our makerspace will provide activities for people of all ages in a safe and supportive environment. The makerspace will be a particular asset for adults, who often face challenges finding a place to interact with friends and meet new people. Stay, Work, Play recently identified meeting new people and a lack of access to cultural activities as challenges that New Hampshire faces in attracting young people. A makerspace will be an important step in addressing that shortcoming for the Concord region by providing a space for adults to interact and learn new skills.
Concord is competing with cities regionally and throughout the nation to attract top businesses, and those businesses are increasingly looking to locate in communities that offer a high quality of life and where their employees want to live. A makerspace will give the Concord region a competitive edge as we continue to seek to be the best place to live.
Workforce Development and Education: With a low unemployment rate throughout the state, it’s increasingly important to train employees to meet the demands of today’s economy. Businesses say one of their biggest challenges is finding workers with the skills they’re looking for. Concord’s makerspace will develop partnerships with businesses and schools throughout the region to offer training and workshops for their current and perspective employees.
We’ll serve as a space where employees can train on cutting-edge equipment, 3-D printers, and other tools so they are prepared when they enter the workforce or seek to move up the career ladder at their current job. Concord’s makerspace will be a leader and innovator in evaluating the needs of our local economy. We’ll tailor our existing trainings and offer new ones as our customers and partners demand. This includes not only training on the makerspace’s equipment, but also classes focused on business and financial planning, marketing, and product development to continue to drive our local economy forward.
Treasurer of Making Matters NH, member of the UNH Community and Economic Development Team, and lead coordinator of 1MillionCups of Central NH, Jared Reynolds is fully invested in making Concord a premer place to live or grow your business.