Tech Shop Operations Match Cedar Valley Heritage and Future in “Making”

posted on Friday, August 9, 2013 in Blog

Many Cedar Valley regional business and institutional leaders are involved in creating a Cedar Valley Tech Shop location. The Alliance & Chamber in partnership with Cedar Valley's McElroy Trust, is collaborating with San Francisco-based TechShop to establish one of its nationally known, membership based industrial workshops here (look at

The project includes a 15,000 to 17,000 square foot industrial workshop that provides an array of machinery and equipment to design and make just about anything anyone would want to try to make. The equipment includes everything from the CAD stations and small format 3D printer equipment, to hand tools, to highly sophisticated water jet cutting equipment, and applicable to the spectrum of materials, including cloth and fabrics. Importantly, it delivers a long menu of specific machine and “how to” training courses, on-site, to make anyone, a “maker.”

A key element of TechShop success is community engagement and outreach. The Cedar Valley presents an opportunity to engage students, and adults of all interests with a hands-on shop environment to learn about and do manufacturing. In the Cedar Valley, our “hook” is our deep heritage and sophistication in manufacturing in the economy and our emphasis on STEM education at all levels, including the STEM emphasis of UNI's teacher education programming, and the Iowa STEM Initiative programming.

We are currently working with the for-profit firm to secure the facilities and required partnerships. Contact Steve Dust or Cary Darrah regarding Tech Shop.