Hello Makers!

Following the exciting news we announced last week of our Midtown expansion, we thought it timely to share our updates and goals for the Rocklin Hacker Lab “Powered by Sierra College.”

We are deeply grateful for the support and inspiration that you are providing to our community of makers and entrepreneurs.  Special shoutout to our partners at Sierra College and City of Rocklin for making this all possible.

Our primary goal behind Hacker Lab is to provide the resources - tools, knowledge, and community - to think big and create amazing things.  We hope that your experience at Hacker Lab has and continue to enrich your life and advance your personal and professional endeavors.

To that end, we’ve set our primary goals for 2019 as the following:

  • Community building -  We want to provide more outlets for you to meet and collaborate with fellow members. We hope this leads to the organic growth of more partnerships, programs, and meetups.
  • Infrastructure development - We want to provide a cleaner, more functional and inspiring space for you to create and collaborate.
  • Education opportunities - We want to provide new avenues to learning and career pathway development in our classes for all ages.

Before we dig into our strategies for the above goals, let’s look at some of our key accomplishments for Rocklin in 2018:

  • Signed lease extension providing us a secure home through 2024.
  • Supported 726 unique members throughout the year at Rocklin facility alone!
  • Supported 1556 unique resource reservations totaling 4662 hours ( does not include woodshop, metal shop, sewing lab usage )
  • Enrolled over 1000 participants in 384 unique classes throughout the year
  • Setup and developed and scheduled Tormach CNC Mill and CNC Lathe classes ( Thank you Ray, Mike, James, Jim and everyone else involved!
  • Partnered with Placer Community Arts Foundation
  • Installed RFID check-in system on front door.
  • Commissioned whole new woodshop tool area and training program
  • Commissioned 2nd laser cutter
  • Made major infrastructure improvements to contain noise and dust in the makerspace
  • Improved lighting and aesthetics of coworking space and upstairs private desk space
  • Streamlined technical process for managing over 40 classes per month and hundreds of tool reservations
  • Hired Roger Mulkey, Makerspace Support Staff
  • Partnered with Girl Scouts to host over 20 workshops over 2018/19 schedule
  • Partnered with Sierra College Community Ed
  • Hosted several community events including Holiday maker night and more.

We’re proud of our 2018 achievements and will continue to build off this new foundation in 2019. Below is a bit more detail into our strategy for accomplishing our 2019 goals.

Community Development: We want to provide more outlets for you to meet and collaborate with fellow members.  Some of the key initiatives we’re kicking off in Q1 are as follows:

  • Quarterly member mixers - Starting Feb we are hosting our first quarterly member mixer which will be co-sponsored by Tcheck - Check it out and RSVP here!
  • Quarterly art shows led by Placer Community Arts foundation.  The first show kicked off over the weekend!
  • New member orientations - we are doubling the frequency of these in-depth new member orientations.  They will now be held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Check em out and RSVP here!
  • Slack Channel - Promote and advance our online community discussion group on slack - You can sign up here at thehackerlab.slack.com
  • Meetups - We are home to a few monthly meetups : Geeky Tech meetup / Gamers in the burb meetup and hope to invite more monthly meetups to host activities at the lab this year.

Infrastructure:  We want to improve our physical space by providing a cleaner, more functional and inspiring space for you to create and collaborate.

  • While we have made great strides in the overall infrastructure, there are still many tasks in the works to improve the space.
  • We believe this is broken up into two primary areas: 1) aesthetics and cleanliness, and 2) functionality.  We will continue to make steady progress on both of these areas including some of the following projects: conference room acoustics, photography studio, kitchen hangout lounge redesign, tool wall organization, electrical for welding lab, front entrance way re-design. There are some larger projects that include bringing in additional equipment that we have in the plans as well.  We have created this facility prioritization list which outlines our current projects in priority order.  Many of these items we aim to complete by Q2.
  • Another key goal to our infrastructure development is to hire additional support staff for the facility to help with teaching, organization, and member services.  We hope to begin recruiting for this position in late Q1.

Training & Education

Much of our focus for 2018 was to dial-in our core classes to ensure high quality experiences.  As we enter into 2019 we want to provide avenues to support more customized, project based learning experiences.  Key initiatives include:

  • Office Hours - Starting in January we launched our “office hours” program - where members-only can reserve a 30 minute session with knowledgeable staff ( listed on calendar ).  We think this will be a great way for members to gain tailored learning experiences from our awesome staff and fellow members. If you are a member and interested in hosting office hours, let us know via [email protected]
  • Launch our Pathways Program in Rocklin - to provide career exploration scholarships to low income individuals.
  • Launch a digital badges program to help members show off their skills to future employers
  • Promote our partnership with Rocklin Maker Academy, hosting after school programs out of the space.
  • Developing stronger partnership with local K-12 institutions throughout the county.

How you can help.

We’re all in this together and it takes the support of the village to keep spaces like Hacker Lab in operation.  We are deeply fortunate and grateful for your support to be able to operate our Rocklin facility. To continue to enhance our resources, we ask that you consider the ways to support us.  

  1. Please Complete our 2018 Member Success Survey.  We would like to be able to share the impact our efforts are having to the community.  We use these survey results to apply for sponsorships and grants through the local county and state.  
  2. Refer friends and take advantage of our annual membership offers while the offer lasts - we’re extending specials until the end of February as part of our midtown facility move - link here for details

Thank you for your participation in our community. We especially want to make a shout out to our partners at Sierra College and CIty of Rocklin.  You are truly leaders in the nation and we are very proud to be wave your flag.

Let us know if there's something else you'd like to see at Hacker Lab Powered by Sierra College.

Happy Making!

Team HL

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