by Jim Harrison
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, through the efforts of its VAi2 (Veterans Affairs Innovation Initiative), has secured 2,000 one-year memberships that are valid only for the TechShop location in Allen Park, Michigan (at least so far). These memberships will be given away free to qualified Veterans. You will need to pay for any materials you use at TechShop, but they can be purchased anywhere. These are full, one-year memberships, plus $350 in additional classes, with a total value of approximately $1,500.
TechShop, Inc. is a Silicon Valley firm that runs an expanding chain of membership-based shops, featuring a wide array of equipment and computer workstations for designing, prototyping and manufacturing a wide array of items. TechShop is a place for inventors, innovators, and makers, working alone and with others. A typical TechShop “shop”" is 20,000 square feet of space chock full of a wide array of equipment, including metal working, cutting, shaping, welding, electronics, fabrics and textiles, woodworking and 3D printers, along with the computer workstations and assorted software needed to manage CAD/CAM and CNC execution. TechShop appeals to both hobbyists and inventors. More information can be found at TechShop’s website www.techshop.com.
To be considered for a membership in Allen Park, please email the VA with your full name only. Do not include any other personal information, such as Social Security number or home telephone. Include in your email a brief statement (fifty words or less, and bullet points are fine) how you would use and benefit from a one-year TechShop membership. The email address is as follows: VetTechShop@va.gov.
The Department of Veteran Affairs will make selection decisions. TechShop does not decide who will be enrolled.