The X_Factory Makerspace
To provide a space where people can come together and learn different hands-on skills for personal and professional enrichment
To provide a space for entrepreneurial individuals or local businesses to access the knowledge, materials and machinery that will assist in meeting their goals at a reasonable cost
To provide a space where community can come together around a common interest in making
To provide a space for people to learn specific needed skills to better their career prospects based on industry demand with the opportunity for licensure or certification
Whats in a makerspace?
Makerspaces offer a unique opportunity by providing the physical materials and space to cultivate skills and interests surrounding the notion of creating, fixing or building. This space and the activities that occur within fulfill a personal or larger desire or need, while simultaneously allowing for social interactions thus creating then growing a community around a common set of interests. Having a makerspace in a town such as Middlebury would fulfill this baseline and would provide a place for people of all ages to access opportunities in a meaningful and equitable manner. This specific makerspace in concept would be one that not only has a basic complement of tools, but would be built to leverage a multifaceted clientele. More specifically, the space would be setup as its own education institution, but would also collaborate with PAHCC (Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center), MUHS (Middlebury Union High School), Middlebury College and other areas schools. In addition to the basic tools found in a makerspace the tooling and offerings of this particular space would be expanded to include larger more industrial equipment and resources that would allow for rental/use by individuals and businesses alike. Furthermore, offering programing specifically designed for the makerspace as well as programming that would provide certifications and job training will be an added draw. As part of this diverse structure the X_Factory makerspace will act as a hub of innovation for tenants of a forthcoming business incubator that will be co-located on the X_Factory campus (see The X_Factory Incubator Overview for more information).The time is right for a makerspace such as this given the demand to increase the skilled workforce as well as build community; this makerspace could potentially fulfill numerous niches to further strengthen Middlebury and the surrounding towns.