The President’s call to action, requesting cities across America become Maker Cities, has been answered by the great city of Youngstown! Youngstown is now a Maker City! As a Maker City, Youngstown’s special focus will be on 3D printing, thanks to the Youngstown location of America Makes, The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute.
A variety of activities were held July 31st through August 4th as part of the Youngstown Maker City Kickoff event weekend sponsored by the Youngstown Maker City Initiative, a combined effort from Congressman Tim Ryan, America Makes, The Youngstown Business Incubator, Mahoning County Commissioners and Convention and Visitors Bureau, Youngstown State University (YSU), and others to support local programs that strengthen manufacturing, support STEM, and spur entrepreneurialism.
In summing up the Kickoff event weekend, America Makes Founding Director Ralph Resnick said, “This weekend was incredibly successful in putting the spotlight on Youngstown’s capabilities as a leader in 3D printing. Making and manufacturing is in the DNA of this region. With its designation as a Maker City, Youngstown is demonstrating to other cities across America on how to reinvent itself and become a modern manufacturing leader in the 21st century.”
On Thursday, America Makes welcomed the editorial staff from Make: Magazine and its team of reviewers for its “3D Printer Shootout” along with city and county officials, business leaders and others to its headquarters for a VIP reception on Thursday evening. America Makes Founding Director Ralph Resnick and Make Magazine Founder and CEO Dale Dougherty addressed the attendees.
During the day on Friday, Make Magazine editors, writers, staff, and its team of reviewers arrived at America Makes to conduct thorough tests on more than 25 3D printers for its award-winning 3D Printer review issue published annually in the Fall. The test were specifically designed to assess the abilities of the printers to handle complicated tasks.
Later on Friday, America Makes staff along with the team from Make Magazine were invited by newly appointed YSU President Jim Tressel for a picnic and networking session with YSU faculty, including Dean Abraham, Ph.D., Dean of the STEM College, and YSU Foundation leaders.
Make Magazine personnel and America Makes staff returned to the America Makes facility for more work after the Tressel event and returned on Saturday, working all day and well into the night to press forward with the testing and evaluations.
The official Maker City pledge took place on Sunday during the America Makes Open House. Signed by Congressmen Tim Ryan and Mr. Resnick, the Maker City pledge formally outlined how the community plans to strengthen current Maker programs and create new ones within this organized effort. Congressman Tim Ryan stated “Becoming a Maker City is a significant step in realizing the full potential of America Makes and Youngstown remaining one of the premier cities in the country to start and grow a business.”
More than 500 people attended the America Makes Open House event, which featured, local Makers showcasing their talents, 3D Printer demonstrations, and tours of the facility.