The team behind Manufacture New York, a vertically integrated fashion and wearable-tech innovation hub in Brooklyn, is launching a 501(c)3 nonprofit, The Manufacture Foundation.
The Manufacture Foundation’s mission is to develop and implement innovative, inclusive programs that allow diverse, underserved urban populations to create and build businesses in apparel, textiles and wearable technology.
Built on the past four years of effort to create a transformative, equitable ecosystem for New York City’s fashion designers, manufacturers, makers and entrepreneurs, this nonprofit is launching to give Manufacture New York’s most impactful programs the dedicated support they deserve, said Bob Bland, founder and chief executive officer of Manufacture New York.
“Together, we have the opportunity to combine our resources to take our positive impact to the next level,” Bland said. “This could be a game-changer for our industry and for domestic manufacturing, and we invite everyone to be involved.”
The Manufacture Foundation was established to further the subsidized incubation, public education, workforce training and affordable space for manufacturing activities of MNY through nonprofit activities with public-private partnerships throughout industry, government, academia and the local community.
In the coming months, the foundation will be establishing its leadership and volunteer base, as well as launching and expanding existing programs and providing affordable space for local manufacturers. Its organizational structure will include an executive committee, board of directors, advisory board and focus committees for sustainability, education and makers, Made in USA and workforce training, incubation and mentorship, diversity, public policy and special events and media. It will also hire an executive director.
Since 2012, MNY has helped to launch more than 100 fashion and wearable-technology start-ups and has helped grow preexisting manufacturing businesses, creating high-quality, middle-class jobs in underserved neighborhoods such as Red Hook and Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Until now, all of its programs have been subsidized by their own revenue, with occasional support from local and federal government agencies.
Founded in 2012, MNY partners with local real estate developers and governments to create what it calls Manufacturing Innovation Hubs.
About two years ago, MNY moved from its original location in Midtown Manhattan to its 160,000-square-foot headquarters at Liberty View Industrial Plaza in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
MNY partnered with the City of New York, Mayor’s Office and New York City Economic Development Corp. through a $3.5 million grant to create the Manufacturing Innovation Center for Apparel, Textiles & Wearable Technology, featuring a specific workforce training center for apprenticeships, continuing education, internships and on-the-job training with contract manufacturers, developers and designers on site.