The Fab Lab Puerto Rico, based at the Ana G. Méndez Gurabo Campus, has won $25,000 through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Makerspace Training, Collaboration and Hiring (MaTCH) Pilot competition.
The Fab Lab Puerto Rico will use the award to support a digital production technician certification through the continuing education program to address the job skills and placement gap in Puerto Rico’s local businesses.
The Fab Lab Puerto Rico will also offer services to the private and public sectors such as nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and the local community, including among others, the vocational and STEAM educational sector, local artists, entrepreneurs, and inventors.
“We’re very pleased and proud to learn that one of our local organizations — The Fab Lab Puerto Rico — has won seed funding to support continued education on the island,” said SBA District Director Yvette T. Collazo.
“Opportunities such as this give the small business community added leverage to grow, expand and create jobs. At SBA, we look forward to seeing the results for years to come and the impact it will have on our economic development,” she said.
The award is part of a global $1 million in prize money the SBA granted to competition winners from the U.S. mainland and its territories. The Atlantic Region, consisting of New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico & the U.S. Virgin Islands had at least one winner in each of its districts; it was the only region in the country to do so, winning a combined $250,000.
SBA Regional Administrator Steve Bulger who oversees the agency’s operations across the Atlantic Region, said, “It’s exciting that the Atlantic Region was awarded $250,000 in MaTCH competition awards that will empower a stronger connection between the maker’s community and job creation.”
“This SBA investment will provide an added economic boost to local communities, reaffirming President Trump’s commitment to supporting new forms of vocational education, developing apprenticeships, independent work, and cultivating access to entrepreneurship,” he said.