Cincinnati, OH, April 22, 2019 – CoMADE, the ground-breaking manufacturing initiative created to serve the Greater Cincinnati region, will launch the first phase of its operations this Spring from the former Walnut Hills Kroger building.
The now shuttered 32,000 sq. ft. grocery building on East McMillan Street will soon house four of CoMADE’s signature services beginning as early as April, 2019. The first of the services to come on line will be a community tool library where local residents and organizations can rent tools and receive training to undertake personal or community projects. Soon after, affordable shared desk and studio space will be available followed by training workshops. The final service to be introduced in June or July will be prototyping and micro-factory workshops serving up to 100 people.
CoMADE is a $26-million pioneering, non-profit initiative that brings entrepreneurs, manufacturers and workers together under one roof to create jobs, opportunities and hope. It will provide workshops, production space, a manufacturing incubator, training, job opportunities and community support programs. It will be permanently housed in a 100,000 sq. ft. purpose-built center within Cincinnati’s Uptown Innovation Corridor at Avondale. The center, which is due to open in the Spring of 2021, is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and follows an intense study of more than 100 manufacturing programs across 17 U.S. cities. It is expected to create about 100 new manufacturing businesses and more than 1,000 local jobs in its first five years of operation.
CoMADE President, Rich Kiley, commented: “It was clear to us that there was a pressing need to introduce some of our services ahead of our new building being ready. The former Kroger building is located close to our permanent home and an ideal location to launch our first services. We have already been in close talks with Walnut Hills community leaders who have embraced our plans and are fully supportive of the program. We will continue that dialog specifically to identify the type of training and range of tools that would most benefit the community as we open the new tool library. We will then quickly introduce the three other services and should have all four programs available by the Summer.”
Executive Director of the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation, Emily Sheckels, added: “We are excited to bring CoMADE to the center of our business district, returning the former Kroger building to a positive and productive use. CoMADE’s innovative program will be a great asset to the residents of Walnut Hills, providing access to training and tools. “
CoMADE has appointed Carla Butler as the manager of the new Walnut Hills center. Butler was previously Director of the Wesley Education Center for Children and Families in Avondale, Cincinnati.
Walnut Hills will be off to a fast start with many of the tools and companies supported by the First Batch program in the Over the Rhine transferring to the East McMillan Street location over the summer. First Batch illuminated many needed resources and connections that served as the seed for the launch of the CoMADE concept.
“Obviously, we will be working closely with the Walnut Hills community to understand what services should remain in the neighborhood once the main CoMADE facility is open in Avondale in 2020. We are also clearly focused on continuing to raise the $26-million required to build the new center. We are making strong progress on this goal and the opening of the Walnut Hills center is an important key step in our journey” Kiley added.
Full details about the new services at the Walnut Hills CoMADE location can be obtained at www.wh.comade.org.
CoMADE (www.comade.org and www.wh.comade.org) is a pioneering, non-profit initiative that brings entrepreneurs, manufacturers and workers together under one roof to create jobs, opportunities and hope. It will provide workshops, production space, a manufacturing incubator, training, job opportunities and community support programs. It will leverage Cincinnati’s authentic core strengths in physical products and manufacturing to drive economic growth, job growth and community growth.