The Foundry partners with schools, community groups and agencies to provide after school options and day programs that enable participants to fulfill STEAM, Career Development or Occupational Studies (CDOS) requirements.
Working with our local institutions we are currently developing programming to support computer assisted design and making in all four of our shops or labs. Thanks to The Garman Family Foundation, Ralph C. Wilson, and The Emerging Philanthropists of Color for their grants in support of these sessions.
The Foundry has offered hands-on learning for after school programs since its inception in 2013. Our Make It Program was born out of the recognition that many youth need interactive exploratory activities which allow them to experiment in our shops and labs as they consider possible career options. The Make It Program offers multiple sessions throughout the year where students can select to explore different opportunities. Focused career options are rooted in design and advanced manufacturing, woodworking, metalwork, fiber and textiles as well as maker-based technologies.
Program Needs: Depending on the structure of the program, funding ranges between $2500 and $10,000 annually. Currently supported by individual donors, grants, after school funds for our community.
Growth: We are looking to build partnerships with other k-12+ educational organizations to broaden support. If you are a teacher, administrator, or program director please reach out!
|Students enrolled in YouthBuild joined us this year to build two mobile market carts. This spring The African Heritage Food Co-op is set to move through our East Side neighborhood to distribute the produce they grow with the cart pictured to the left.|
MakeIt for Community is a version of our Make It Program that allows students to explore different skillsets and career pathways while making community-based projects. We have created benches, a trellis, and a giant Adirondack chair for the Outer Harbor. Little libraries, blue Buffalo bike racks, garbage receptacles have been created for Grant St, and we are frequently asked to make signs for community gardens.
Funding Needs: The Foundry covers the cost of an instructor, use of our facilities and admin time for coordinating with clients, picking up materials, Typically our partner programs cover the cost of their supervisor and transportation for the students, though sometimes we co-apply for funding to cover these sessions..
Growth: Not only can The Foundry make small items -- benches or a trellis, we have the potential to build larger structures such as arbors, green roofs, community structures and tiny houses. Good examples of other programs that do large scale community build projects: Yestermorrow Design/Build School and Rural Studio. We are looking to grow in this direction over the next few years.
Students from Baker Victory Services and Health Sciences Charter School worked with us to develop a nightlight we designed for younger students. It has a motion sensor built in – so in a dark room, it turns on when your wave your hand over it. We are currently planning for the second year of this program - thanks to The Emerging Philanthropists of Color for help with funding!
Experiential Learning - Day Programs get students out of the classroom and into the studio or lab to expose them to real-life opportunities for skills development. We work with students to make community-based projects. This past year we made outdoor tables for the Northland Corridor project. We celebrate all building projects with a ribbon-cutting event so students are able to celebrate their success and the work they’ve achieved.
Program Needs: We need sponsors and community sites to build projects. Our application process for new projects starts in late spring for the following year so that we can build two projects in our woodshop and metalshop.
Growth: Currently we offer two programs each week and are looking to expand to offer a third day for BPS that will run in our TechLab..
|A number of students join us each year to make their own 3D printed objects. We also teach participants laser scanning and 3D mesh creation. We don’t like to download pre-made files from the web – we teach people to create their own three-dimensional works, masterpieces and usable products.|
In 2018 The Foundry hosted tours for elementary, middle and high school students. Schedule one with us today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Current Partners:
Baker Victory Services - Baker Hall (ages 14-17)
If you have a community building or design project for a garden, public art space or local lot, please contact us to coordinate this special learning opportunity by sending E-mail to email@example.com
2 small businesses
Two small businesses began renting space in what is now The Foundry. They began to put a call out for additional startups to rent space and started hosting performances (Bread and Puppet, Torn Space Theater) and art exhibits using the ample space available.
5 small businesses
In Spring 2013, NetPositive dba The Foundry was incorporated and purchased its current location after raising $35k through an online crowd funding IndieGoGo campaign. The number of resident small businesses increased to 5, and The Foundry began to solidify its mission to provide support for women and minority-owned small businesses and commit to community education. The company formed a resident Committee in which each tenant gets one vote, and began collaborating with Baker Victory Services (an after school youth program) and Buffalo Lab (a technology makerspace).
1st Bid to Build Auction
420 Workshop Participants
10 small businesses
The Foundry received its first major grant of $100k from First Niagara and raised ~$20k from its inaugural Bid to Build auction. The nonprofit also hired its Executive Director and Youth Leader, and built 8 new spaces leading to a total of 20 tenants. The foundry hosted over 60 workshops for community education with over 420 total participants. The company also began to work with YouthBuild along with Baker Victory Services to teach youth about product design through making basic products to sell through retail partners in the community.
8 business mentors
1433 Participants Class + Events + Workshops
27 Small Businesses
The Foundry partnered with Aspire to mentor and employ developmentally disabled individuals and hosted its 2nd Bid to Build Auction raising $34k. The company re-invented 2nd Saturdays to include more hands-on activities, 925 people participated in events including 2nd Saturdays and art performances, 508 people participated in workshops and classes. Renovations on the first floor increased the total number of tenants to approximately 30. The Foundry incubated 5 minority owned, 11 women owned, and 1 LGBTQ-owned businesses, yielding a total of 27 small businesses. Additionally The Foundry had 8 business mentors.
1st Annual ToolFest
1 Business Graduated
131 Classes + Events
4820 Hours Served by Volunteers
30 small businesses
The Foundry merged with Buffalo Lab to promote makerspace and memberships. The Foundry fully set up the Woodshop makerspace, and the Metal, Textile, and Tech Lab Makerspaces are on their way for 2017. The Foundry continued to expand its class offering, including a 10 week Wooodworking Series. Additionally, The Foundry hired one AmeriCorps VISTA and two new Youth Leaders, and partnered with WEDI to offer additional business services for tenants. The Foundry was awarded 2 years of funding through John R. Oishei Foundation to fund an Education Director. An AmeriCorps VISTA was hired in the summer of 2017 to streamline small business incubation services.
3rd Annual ToolFest
Expanded Classes + Events
35 small businesses
The Foundry runs sustained youth programming and short adult classes in all four makerspaces - the Woodshop, Metalshop, Textile and Tech Labs. Construction on the 2nd floor will expand opportunities for new businesses and provide additional teaching space for educational partners. An AmeriCorps VISTA is hired to coordinate lab/shop materials and supplies for the expanded sessions running in The Foundry's makerspaces. A part-time Bookkeeper joins the staff, that now includes the Makerspace Coordinator, Education Director, and Executive Director.