Though our adult classes and after school STEAM sessions are currently suspended at The Foundry due to the pandemic, we are so excited to share that our advanced manufacturing training continues learning offsite!
Advanced Manufacturing Training - Continues Learning Remotely!
Funded with a MaTCH award from the Small Business Administration, Foundry staff members Deb Sarlin and Amina Boyd have worked tirelessly to ensure our Advanced Manufacturing workforce development program can continue through the Covid-19 pandemic as an online program. With tools on site from local industry partners such as Tapecon Inc, and workflows aligned with companies in our Buffalo network including Zehnder-Rittling, PCB Piezotronics and Rigidized Metals, a group of students from The Service Collaborative of WNY's WNY YouthBuild program and from our makerspace community joined us in early February to secure both hands-on techniques and computer assisted design strategies. These are skills needed by workers entering new and emerging positions in manufacturing jobs in Buffalo. In the coming weeks, we will share some photos and videos of the students talking about what they've been learning while at home. To find out more about all our youth programs, visit our website.
Small Businesses - How can you help?
The Foundry is home to over 2 dozen small businesses who are feeling the economic effects of the coronavirus. Here are two ways we thought you might help:
By Supporting through E-commerce
Many of our small business tenants are economically vulnerable and will suffer loss of income during this pandemic. We are connecting as many of our businesses as we can to relief funds and loans while simultaneously encouraging our supporters (you!) to take a look at our current list of tenants and consider supporting our maker businesses through e-commerce or individually commissioned projects! Have you been needing promotional materials printed? Stained glass repaired? Looking at your garden and thinking - I need a bird feeder? Consider purchasing now to support your local economy!
By Sending Care Packages and Thank You Letters!
Our community of makers is asking for your help to donate items for care packages to thank our hospital workers, our sanitation workers, our grocery workers - many who continue to work throughout this pandemic. One twist - lets also support our WNY businesses and buy all things local!
What are we thinking of sending?
We're of course partial to supporting makers, but we are asking you to support all local businesses who are struggling during this pandemic and to think outside the box! Perhaps after a long shift, a nurse could use a sugar scrub from Foundry graduate Zandra. Maybe our sanitation workers would appreciate a nice hand written card on stationary made by current Foundry business MMDesign716. There are SO many small businesses at The Foundry and throughout WNY that need our help; choose one and donate something as a thank you!
How can you get your care package donations and thank you cards to us to distribute?
Over the next two weeks (through April 24th), we will take any and all donations at our location - 298 Northampton St. The easiest way is to drop whatever you're donating into our small metal drop box, next to our main entry door, to minimize contact. If you have more than a few things or prefer leaving it with someone - contact us. Staff is currently working remotely, but can meet you to accept a donation (with a hand-sewn mask and gloves, of course!).
How will we make sure our care packages and thank yous are properly sanitized?
Current research suggests that the coronavirus can lasts on surfaces for hours and sometimes days depending on the material. We will make sure to abide by CDC guidelines and when possible and appropriate, will wipe things down with disinfectant. We will wait at least 72 hours after to deliver anything in order to minimize risk. Due to the wait time and difficulty with sanitizing - please no food/perishable items.
How will we distribute and choose who to thank?
Right now, we have several contacts at local hospitals, but we're taking suggestions. If you can think of someone to thank or a place to send care packages to, tell us! We can't promise we'll be able to thank everyone, but we're the City of Good Neighbors, so lets try!
Speaking of thank yous, we want to thank you for supporting us, our students and our small businesses during this difficult time. We miss you all and hope to see you back at The Foundry in the near future!