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SouthWorks MakerLab opens in Park Forest

Photo courtesy of Jason Miller

Photo courtesy of Jason Miller

From the Village of Park Forest’s web site:

A grand opening for the new SouthWorks MakerLab in Park Forest was held on Wednesday, May 6, featuring several notable attendees including Congresswoman Robin Kelly. The event began at Park Forest’s Freedom Hall with a viewing of Maker the Movie and words from several speakers followed by a tour of the maker lab… Please click here for the video or here for photos taken by Park Forest Director of Communications Jason Miller. Addition photos are here.

The Village of Park Forest in partnership with the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association (SSMMA) and the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium (SMHEC), won a competition sponsored by the Small Business Administration (SBA) for a $50,000 grant from the Growth Accelerator Fund. The SBA received 832 applications for this competition nationwide, and only awarded 50 grants, two in Illinois. The goal of the Growth Accelerator Fund is to assist business accelerators with their mission to support start-ups to grow, become commercially viable, and have real and sustained economic impact. The winners are focused in areas where there are gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The initial acquisition of equipment for the Park Forest Maker Space included two 3-D printers, a laser cutter, an electronics lab, and computers and design software. The goal of the Maker Space will be to enable users to create prototypes of new products that can then be marketed for larger production and sales. The Maker Space will also provide a program of courses and workshops that will educate the members about production, marketing, patents, and other key issues involved in the manufacturing process. Click here for the “Become a Maker in May” flyer.

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