The business environment for entrepreneurial-minded manufacturers is getting a lot of buzz. An explosion of digital tools and services has rocked the manufacturing realm, drawing in computer-assisted design and 3D printing equipment, open-source operating systems and the Internet of Things (IoT).
A recent article in HBR by Mark Muro of Brookings puts it in perspective: Innovative “tools, resources, and intermediaries are allowing a new generation of serious entrepreneurs to begin to bridge the worlds of hacker space and industry. As a result, software-enabled manufacturing start-ups are poised to have a large economic impact.” So, how does Rhode Islander’s famed maker-movement plug into this energy? Engaging young, creative minds is the answer.
Governor Raimondo’s Rhode Island Promise Scholarship Program is officially rolling out this academic year, Fall 2017. For prospective students to qualify for RI Promise, they must have just graduated from high school or recently obtained a GED, and they would be eligible for two years at CCRI tuition free. CCRI is hosting enrollment days on August 10th and 17th – a chance for students to ask questions and enroll for this semester. Rhode Island is the fourth state in the country to offer tuition-free community college, an essential credential for the evolving workforce--- particularly in manufacturing.
Rhode Island's efforts to spur workforce development don’t stop there. Along with being the first state to offer computer science to every child in every public school, Rhode Island partners its high schools and community colleges with local manufacturers to give students industry-specific knowledge, workplace tours, apprenticeships and internships. Rhode Island also offers student-loan assistance to graduates pursuing a STEM or design career.
Looking for a place to start and grow your manufacturing business? Providence's deep roots in manufacturing innovation must be seriously examined. Would you like to learn more?