Weekly Feature



2018-04-11 / Lifestyles

THE FOUNDRY:

Empowering people through education, entrepreneurship
by NICK KONOTOPSKYJ Reporter


Instructor Russ Reinagel is shown teaching pneumatic nailer safety during the wood shop safety course held last week at The Foundry. 
Photo by Chuck Skipper Instructor Russ Reinagel is shown teaching pneumatic nailer safety during the wood shop safety course held last week at The Foundry. Photo by Chuck Skipper In spring 2013, The Foundry was incorporated at its current location, 298 Northampton St., Buffalo, with just five small businesses from Western New York.

Today, The Foundry works with 35 businesses, many of them startups, and offers more than 100 classes and events throughout the year. The executive director and co-founder, Megan McNally, talked about how so much has changed in less than five years.

“This started out with a few businesses who were looking for space to rent,” McNally said. “Now, it has emerged as an opportunity for people to move forward with their business. We deal not only with entrepreneurs, but with our classes we focus on education in a variety of ways.”

The Foundry puts a huge emphasis on working with youths to explore various career paths and give them hands-on skill sets. It promotes opportunities for youth, job training partnerships, part-time employment at The Foundry, career exploration and youth entrepreneurship programs.


Class participant Kathy Tybor is shown learning how to use the nailer during the wood shop safety course at The Foundry. Class participant Kathy Tybor is shown learning how to use the nailer during the wood shop safety course at The Foundry. The Foundry has approximately 27 spaces that get rented to local businesses, according to McNally. It also has four shared makerspaces available, which include wood shop, metal shop, textile and technology areas. The average class size is eight people because in smaller classes the instructor is able to work one-on-one with each person.

“The one thing I emphasize the most to people is that these classes aren’t just for one person,” Mc- Nally said. “It’s a very inclusive atmosphere, and we welcome people of all ages and all skill levels to visit. We hold small classes so that people can ask questions and learn at their own pace.”


Class participant Scott Slocum takes his turn using the nailer during a pneumatic nailer safety lesson at The Foundry. To learn more about the class schedule, visit www.thefoundrybuffalo.org. Class participant Scott Slocum takes his turn using the nailer during a pneumatic nailer safety lesson at The Foundry. To learn more about the class schedule, visit www.thefoundrybuffalo.org. The next available classes include:

•“Drones: Got one for the holidays, now what?” from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 14.

•“Beginning Glass Blowing,” from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 14.

•“Upholstery for Beginners,” from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 17.

•“Metalshop Safety Course,” from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 17.

To learn more about these and all of the other classes at The Foundry, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/o/the-foundry-buffalo-15616046458.

The Foundry hosts an annual event called “Bid to Build,” which is a benefit auction of handmade items from builders, craftspeople, artisans and educators from The Foundry. This year’s event will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at the Foundry.

“Bid to Build” is the organization’s signature event of the year, and it showcases the work of more than 30 of The Foundry’s small-business tenants. The event was first held in 2014, and McNally said it continues to grow year after year.

“‘Bid to Build’ is an amazing event, and it allows us to continue to grow our operation,” McNally said. “The purpose is to get people to support our ongoing programs, and it is a nice way for people to see what we do.”

In addition to the live auction, there will be something called “Wall of Wonders.” This features several barrels filled with prizes that range from gift certificates to a $100 bill. Music will be played throughout the night, and food and drinks will be included in the ticket price. Tickets cost $35 per person and can be purchased by visiting https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bid-to-build-2018-tickets-43488616623.

“Bid to Build” attendees will directly support The Foundry’s capacity to offer affordable rental space, mentoring, business classes, workshops and other supports to small-business startups, as well as hands-on classes and science, technology, engineering and math career exploration for girls and boys.

The Foundry also holds tours at 6 p.m. every Wednesday. To learn more about The Foundry and the “Bid to Build event, visit www.thefoundrybuffalo.org, call 885-1381, or visit its Facebook page.

email: nickk@beenews.com

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