The Pinedale Wyrkshop opens its doors for anyone who seeks access to best-in-class tech tools so they can take their creative projects to the next level.
Newly renovated space in the Sublette BOCES building with an array of new advanced technology tools such as 3D printers, laser cutters, and high-end sewing machines, Pinedale Wyrkshop is a free community makerspace where people of all ages and ability levels can get together to work on projects and share ideas. Makerspaces are creative places where people of all experience levels can learn how to tap into emergent technologies, collaborate together, or start projects they may have only ever previously dreamed of.
The Pinedale Wyrkshop joins a larger network of six “Innovation Wyrkshops” across Wyoming, also found in Cheyenne, Evanston, Laramie, Casper, and Rock Springs. Through a growing library of workshops and programs shared across all Wyrkshop partners, makers effectively gain access to all six spaces for free. “The idea behind our network is that a maker can learn how to use equipment in one makerspace, and earn the certification necessary to operate that same equipment across the entire network,” Tyler Kerr, Makerspace Coordinator for UW’s flagship Innovation Wyrkshop, and principle facilitator of DVR’s makerspace partnership. “No more retraining, no additional barriers to access, no membership fees. At the heart of it, the name of the game is accessibility and inclusivity.”
These six makerspaces are especially important as a means to provide youth who face barriers to employment with exciting ways to train for high-paying, in-demand jobs. Funding for the Pinedale Wyrkshop development and new equipment was provided by DVR as a means to provide young adults with disabilities access to best-in-class science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) tools and machinery, and to give those students opportunities to work alongside and network with their fellow makers.
The program will allow students to work alongside experienced makers, while gaining industry credentials through the robust shared training program. Students also will participate in career roundtable discussions with STEAM educators and industry professionals, attend workshops and gain work experience. All six makerspaces across the state will provide unique employment opportunities for young adults with disabilities through the Pre-ETS training program, as well as providing creative space to high school students across the Front Range.
Development of a Makerspace in Pinedale was made possible through a new partnership with the University of Wyoming’s Innovation Wyrkshop, and with financial support from the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS). It was brought to Pinedale through a joint effort by Sublette BOCES #1 and the Pinedale Fine Arts Council.