Voademy gets a $100,000 from the SBA’s Makerspace Training, Collaboration, and Hiring (MaTCH) Pilot


WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton announced the winners of the Makerspace Training, Collaboration and Hiring (MaTCH) Pilot Competition. The SBA awarded $1 million in prize money to competition winners. Vocademy, located in Riverside County in a designated Opportunity Zone, with a mission to provide advanced manufacturing and maker skills, was awarded $100,000.

Vocademy combines attributes of makerspaces and traditional trade schools by giving participants access to makerspace evenings, seven-days-a-week, where they can practice what they are learning and gain critical experience. As an SBA MaTCH award recipient, Vocademy will use its prize money to scale current successful programs that serve the needs of manufacturing companies looking for employees and underserved participants who seek training and a high paying job.

"Our goal at Vocademy is to help people find meaningful work by providing fundamental hands on skills training and to effectively solve the advanced manufacturing skills gap. Being a recipient of the SBA MaTCH Grant will help us exceptionally achieve our goal of creating the skilled innovators of tomorrow," said Gene Sherman, founder and CEO, Vocademy.

“It is my privilege to announce the twelve winners of the SBA’s MaTCH Pilot Competition. The MaTCH competition is a testament to the SBA’s commitment to identifying employment opportunities and supporting small business’ workforce recruitment and retention,” said Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton. “Makerspaces are uniquely positioned to help innovate training for the workforces of today and tomorrow, and spur economic development across the country. Through the MaTCH competition, the winners will be able to directly support vocational education, develop apprenticeships, and cultivate access to entrepreneurship. In addition, I am pleased to note that multiple winners are located in Opportunity Zones where job creation and investments are moving forward to revitalize communities.”

The SBA’s MaTCH Pilot Competition awarded grants according to the following tiers:
• 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