Vocademy has been awarded a major Small Business Administration grant to expand our hands-on skills training programs. This award of $100,000 has been granted to us for demonstrating our success in developing training programs that focus on creating new skills and workforce development. It will enable us to further refine and grow our unique programs. We see this as a huge win for Inland Empire residents, students, and employers.
“Our goal at Vocademy is to help people find meaningful work by providing fundamental hands on skills training and to effectively help solve the advanced manufacturing skills gap. Being a recipient of the SBA MaTCH Grant will help us achieve our goal of creating the skilled innovators of tomorrow.” said Gene Sherman, founder and CEO, Vocademy.
Our approach to teaching is boot-camp style. We drill down on the practical use of skills within an advanced manufacturing subject and work on the core knowledge our students need to succeed. We do this by cross-training in several traditional and state-of-the-art technologies to a fundamental level. We teach individuals to be prepared for jobs that will require more skills in order to remain relevant, as well as the importance of becoming a well-rounded maker. We instill in our students that learning multiple skills opens more opportunities in the workplace. We offer our programs to individuals, schools, companies, and non-profit organizations.
Gene goes on to say, “We make MacGyvers, and who wouldn’t hire a MacGyver? No one is certain what job skills will be needed in the future, so by teaching several skills to a basic level, we are future-proofing our students.”
For many, Vocademy is becoming the fastest way to acquire new skills and is serving as an ideal gap-year program, as well as a valid college alternative. Our newest program, Maker Skills Academy, includes over 90 classes! In this program, students learn skills in subjects such as welding, machining, 3D printing, computer-aided design, electronics, life skills, and much more. Participants in the MSA program learn in a very collaborative working environment, earn valuable entrepreneurship skills, receive one-on-one advising, and have access seven days a week to our Maker Labs. This is when they have the opportunity to enhance their skills through practice and work on real-world projects.
We are grateful to have the SBA believe in our mission and allow us the opportunity to grow our training programs. Out of hundreds of applicants, only twelve organizations across the country have received funding from the SBA Makerspace Training, Collaboration and Hiring (MaTCH) Grant. For us, we see this award as recognition that we are doing the right things for our community, our partners, and our country.
We offer congratulations to all the winners of the competition! We are excited to be among a unique group of makerspaces that value vocational training and building people’s hands-on “maker” skills. We invite individuals, organizations, schools, and companies to contact us for more information and possible collaborative opportunities.