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Highlights of the Urban Manufacturing Alliance Gathering in Somerville, MA

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The Urban Manufacturing Alliance (UMA) is one of our key strategic partners. The way we think of them is as the modern incarnation of a trade association.  Their membership consists of ~500 private and public sector players involved in urban manufacturing across about 150 cities and towns in the United States.  Today, most trade associations spend most of their time, money, and energy lobbying at the federal or state level. What…

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Detroit as a Maker City

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Where once large swathes of Detroit stood vacant and decaying, today this Maker City’s economy is so vibrant – and the influx of talent so great – that Motor City now faces a housing shortage. Last year, housing prices recorded spikes of 11%. In Downtown neighborhoods, it’s not uncommon to see $300,000 condos or the occasional $1 million loft. In 2011, the Live Midtown program was launched by the Henry Ford…

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Maker Town Hall Microgrants

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We are excited to have worked with the Nation of Makers to pull together this program, which provides microgrants of $500-1000 to Maker advocates. The objective of the program – which is supported by funding NOM received from Cognizant – is to encourage local Maker advocates to pull together the people and organizations that make up the local ecosystem around Making into a Town Hall.  The overarching goal is to…

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Pittsburgh: A Role Model for Resurgence

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High above the Pittsburgh skyline, the gleaming 64-story skyscraper once known as US Steel Tower today bears very different insignia. In bold white capitals, some 250 metres above street level, the initials UPMC – University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre – testify to the seismic economic shift that’s fast changing Pittsburgh’s fortunes. Following the collapse of the steel industry in the 1990s, the city in which Hillman, Heinz and Carnegie made…

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Routes for Makers (& Others) into Good Paying Work: Do Programming Bootcamps Work?

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Guest Post by Ammon Bartram, Co Founder of Triplebyte [Editorial changes to the original post are in italics]   Programming bootcamps seem to make an impossible claim. Instead of spending four years in university, they say, you can learn how to be a software engineer in a three-month program. On the face of it, this sounds more like an ad for Trump University than a plausible educational model. But this…

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Rotterdam: from Innovation District to Maker City

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Rotterdam was once the industrial heartland of South Holland, where ocean-bound behemoths took shape beneath the hands of the nation’s finest shipbuilders. Today, despite the disappearance of SS Rotterdam and her kin from its docks, this still-vibrant port city is testament to how innovation can help bring an ailing metropolis back to life. Last year, Rotterdam’s status as a city of the future was cemented when Lonely Planet ranked it…

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The Robots are Coming and What that Means for Cities and Towns

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There is a growing body of thought that the recent U.S. election was as much about robots and automation as anything else. That the reason many metro areas that voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 flipped to Trump in 2016 came down to fear and anxiety. Fear and anxiety that the robots are coming to replace the few manufacturing and other middle-skilled jobs that still exist inside heartland cities…

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Connecting Youngstown to Silicon Valley for Growth

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How do you go about the tough, on the ground work of rebuilding jobs and opportunity in a hard-hit part of the country? Where will the new investment and fertile business partnerships come from? Those were the questions raised last week when a group of 14 entrepreneurs and investors from Silicon Valley flew to Youngstown, Ohio to understand more about the economy in the Mahoning Valley. This is an area…

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What RI Is Doing to Create Economic Opportunity

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I’m from Rhode Island – if I’m from anywhere that is. (My father was an academic … and the only people who move more than academics are military men and women.) Recently, I had the opportunity to hear Gina Raimondo (D) speak, the innovative and courageous governor of Rhode Island. Governor Raimondo is doing a number of innovative things both to keep talent in Rhode Island and to create talent…

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