The U.S. Small Business Administration announced Wednesday it has named the New Jersey Institute of Technology one of 12 winners of its Makerspace Training Collaboration and Hiring Pilot Competition.
The Newark-based educational institution received a $125,000 award under the “Scale” category, according to SBA Regional Administrator Steve Bulger, who oversee’s the agency’s operations across the Atlantic Region, including New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In total, the SBA awarded $1 million in prize money to competition winners.
“It is my privilege to announce the winners of the SBA’s MaTCH Pilot Competition. The competition is a testament to the SBA’s commitment to identifying employment opportunities and supporting small business’ workforce recruitment and retention,” Acting SBA Administrator Chris Pilkerton said. “Makerspaces are uniquely positioned to help innovate training for the workforces of today and tomorrow, and spur economic development across the country.”
Located in Newark, the NJIT Makerspace is a prototyping and collaboration facility for engineers, scientists, technologist and more to test ideas and theories and bring them to reality.
“As a winner of SBA’s MaTCH Pilot Competition, NJIT will provide a program designed to offer the needed foundation for individuals to secure an entry level advanced manufacturing job, and the option to pursue further training in an Apprenticeship Program or a college education in Advanced Manufacturing,” Bulger said.
The SBA MaTCH Pilot Competition awarded the grants in tiers, which include:
- Seed: up to $25,000 will be awarded to seed small workforce development programs;
- Proof of Principle: up to $100,000 will be awarded to grow programs with a proven history of training and/or workforce development;
- Scale: up to $200,000 will be awarded for capacity building of successful existing programs with a strong history of training and/or workforce development. This winner would also have graduated participants in at least two training cycles.
Bulger also noted that the Altantic Region had two other MaTCH winners, including Net Positive, The Foundry in Buffalo, New York (awarded $100,000 in Proof of Principle category) and The Fab Lab Puerto Rico ($25,000, Seed category) in Gurabo, Puerto Rico.
“It’s exciting that the NJIT was awarded $125,000 in MaTCH competition awards that will empower a stronger connection between the maker’s community and job creation in New Jersey. This SBA investment provides an added economic boost to local communities, reaffirming President Trump’s commitment to supporting new forms of vocational education, developing apprenticeships, independent work, and cultivating access to entrepreneurship,” added Bulger.
A full list of winners can be found here.