Restoring the ‘Maker Spirit’ to Thomasville that Lost an Industry and Jobs to China

March 9, 2018

“Once I learned about the maker movement, and how it connects directly to all that I had already been doing, I quickly joined in and have been helping connect manufacturing leaders to makerspaces. Organizations around the world come to me to tell them what to do to advance their workforce development strategies, and, even better, sometimes I get paid for it.” After leaving The Forge in the good hands of Joe Rotondi, he was freed up to consult and support makerspaces around the country like Newton Conover Middle School, Makerspace CT, Make Nashville, NASA Langley, St. Louis, and numerous others. He is currently involved with developing a makerspace in Thomasville, N.C. When I asked how he became involved with Thomasville, he said, “Last June, Thomasville City Councilwoman Wendy Sellars of Thomasville, N.C., asked me to build a makerspace in her community that had been devastated by Thomasville Furniture’s departure to China. I realized that I could not say no to helping revitalize Thomasville’s manufacturing economy because I worked at Thomasville Furniture to pay for college during the third shift starting in June of 1986. It was a great summer job because I was paid $8 per hour, which was much better than other jobs at that time.”



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