GateWay Community College released the findings of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council’s regional impact analysis of Phoenix Forge, its community makerspace, over the next ten years.
Open to the public, Phoenix Forge is projected to create an estimated $36 million in economic output and generate an estimated $1.4 million in tax revenue, a press release explained.
Furthermore, the study states that the makerspace will create an estimated $16.5 million of personal income.
“We are thrilled about the potential regional economic value that Phoenix Forge will have on our local economy,” said GateWay Community College President Dr. Amy Diaz in the release. “We believe this makerspace has huge potential to become a driving force behind innovation and entrepreneurship within our community.”
Phoenix Forge provides a cost-effective solution and collaborative workspace for students, entrepreneurs, small business owners and hobbyists.
The 17,000-square-foot facility offers access to high-quality and large-scale equipment, allowing students and artisans to bring their designs to life. The makerspace has everything needed to turn creative concepts into reality with technology, such as 3D printers to prototype running shoes and flat-pack furniture.
“By providing this comprehensive support, we aim to help local start-ups thrive, keep businesses within our community, and connect entrepreneurs to state-of-the-art technology to enable them to save money,” said Dr. Bruce Balfour, executive director of Phoenix Forge.
Membership to Phoenix Forge is available to community members and dual enrollment high school students, who must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or instructor.
Membership is free to students, staff, and faculty of Maricopa Community Colleges and to a limited number of Arizona State University students and faculty. General members pay $75 per month, while business membership allows multiple people on one membership for $150 per month.
Members can access all areas of the makerspace through an online reservation portal, including 2D and 3D printers, a metal shop, a wood shop, jewelry, electronics and robotics, textiles and more.
Phoenix Forge also offers a variety of classes on a rotating schedule for an additional fee and includes materials with some of them. Classes teach basic concepts and applied practices using a wide variety of available equipment and tools.
Phoenix Forge is a national model for community college makerspaces and community college leaders from across the nation visit Phoenix Forge to gain insights into the operational model, from staffing to program offerings and generating revenue.
Balfour’s ultimate goal is to host an annual three-day professional development workshop available to staff members from community colleges nationwide, the release explained.