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  • The Makerspace Training, Collaboration, and Hiring (MaTCH) Pilot Competition

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    May 28, 2019

    The SBA believes that existing makerspaces are uniquely positioned to help increase workforce development in U.S. cities. The MaTCH Pilot Competition seeks to address the job skills and placement gap faced by U.S. businesses by providing funding to create or expand programs within existing makerspaces that offer job-specific and soft skills training. 

    The SBA challenges individual organizations or teams to use existing makerspaces to create or expand skills training programs, including industry or trade certification when feasible, with a goal to immediately place all program graduates in positions with previously-identified employers that are in need of skilled labor. The SBA will award up to $1 million in total prizes to fund winning program proposals.

    To enter, individuals or organizations should submit a business plan detailing their qualifications, experience, and resources; the proposed training curriculum; the nature and length of the training/certification program; and the number of trainees that will be accommodated.

    Submission Period: May 21, 2019 to July 8, 2019
    Entry Review and Judging Period: July 9, 2019 - August 5, 2019
    Winners Announced: August 6, 2019

    The Competition will award up to $1 million in total prizes, based on the following tiered approach:

    • Seed: up to $25,000 will be awarded to seed small workforce development programs.
    • Proof of Principle: up to $100,000 will be awarded to grow programs with a proven history of training and/or workforce development.
    • Scale: up to $200,000 will be awarded for capacity building of successful existing programs with a strong history of training and/or workforce development. This winner would also have graduated participants in at least two training cycles.

    Each award will be disbursed in a series of four payments, per completion of key milestones. Review the MaTCH competition rules and the FAQs for more detail on how the prizes are disbursed.

    To be considered for selection, a proposed solution must leverage an existing Makerspace to provide vocational training programs (including job specific skills and soft skills training) that meet the minimum standards of the specific trade and, to the extent feasible, any required industry or trade certifications, in addition to targeted job placement of all program graduates in local businesses.

    This Competition is open only to: (1) citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are at least eighteen (18) years of age at the time of entry submission (or teams of such individuals); and (2) private entities, such as corporations or other organizations, both for profit and nonprofit, that are incorporated or organized in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States.

    Applicants should review all the MaTCH competition rules and the FAQs before entering the competition.