Last week, the Cincinnati Business Courier published a story about how GE Aviation is adding 50 new jobs to its Additive Development Center. This job creation is the result of an award by the Ohio Third Frontier Commission. However, makerspace developers should be asking if the money would have been better spent on makerspace development throughout the State of Ohio rather than being concentrated in one facility.
Knowledge is no longer power and money is readily available through non-traditional sources like crowdfunding. What’s missing is the innovation infrastructure necessary to empower a larger creative class. Large transnational corporations like GE say that they can’t find the people they need for the next generation of manufacturing jobs. Makerspaces can used to provide near real-time learning environments that can solve these kinds of workforce challenges.
The future will not be won by rehashing solutions from the 1950’s. There are more women and minorities in the workforce. And the United States Economy can ill afford to see them idled or disadvantaged in great numbers. The traditional college education system is too slow to address the current rate of techno-economic change. A better solution is to engage in state-wide makerspace development. That would empower the American creative class.