Stanley Black and Decker, Empower Makers Grant Awarded to MakeHaven

Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK) announced the recipients of its first “Empower Makers” Global Impact Challenge. MakeHaven is honored to have been named as a Makers Grant Recipient for our efforts to provide opportunities for hands-on exploration of career relevant skills.

Initiated in 2021, the Global Impact Challenge grant program will award up to $25 million in grant funding over the next five years to nonprofits that are supporting trade workforce development initiatives in the construction and manufacturing sectors. With the first applications submitted in October 2021, 240 entrants were evaluated based on number of people served, outcomes projected, sustainable impact, depth of programs, and diversity, among many other considerations. MakeHaven was selected as one of 86 organizations that will help skill and reskill roughly 180,000 makers throughout 2022.

The program being funded at MakeHaven is a Guided Exploration of Makerspace SKills (GEMS), which will assist members in setting goals for new skills and provide coaching to reach those goals. No previous making experience is required to participate. The program’s aim is to give individuals an opportunity to experience multiple aspects of making so they can come  to an informed decision about future career or entrepreneurial goals. Participants may currently be employed and looking to enhance opportunities for promotion or may be seeking new opportunities.

The GEMS program is an enhancement of MakeHaven’s current skill building, micro-credentialing program that has 100 different competencies that can be completed to earn a digital badge. These badges include skills such as: turning on a wood lathe, using a sewing machine, utilizing a 3d printer, welding, and operating a CNC machine.  GEMS participants will be supported in earning twelve skill badges over a three month period. In addition to the support of a coach, the cohort will present examples of work to each other for inspiration and to develop a network of mutual support. At the conclusion of the program, the coach will help participants understand where there are resources for continuing education, employment or  entrepreneurship according to the needs and interests of the participant.

“We are looking forward to seeing what participants will make once they have their hands on the tools. Nothing beats hands-on experience to learn what you enjoy as a maker. Stanley Black and Decker’s generosity will empower makers in greater New Haven to participate in our low-cost, low barrier of entry program to explore what skills they enjoy and are motivated to pursue. I look forward to seeing the career benefits earned through new skills and motivation, such as a promotion, a new job, or a startup business venture. ” said J.R. Logan, Executive Director at MakeHaven.

Thanks to the grant funding there is no added fee above MakeHaven membership of $60 per month to participate. Scholarships for membership are available ; individuals with financial need are encouraged to apply.  The program will be conducted on a rolling basis monthly throughout 2022. The goal is to have 60+ individuals participate in the program by the end of the year. Giving people hands-on experience with tools and skill building will empower them to make an informed decision about their next steps in building careers as makers.

“Stanley Black & Decker is immensely proud to support Makehaven as they work to skill and reskill the next generation of trade professionals,” said Stanley Black & Decker Vice President of Social Impact, Diane Cantello. “Currently in the U.S., there are an estimated 650,000 open construction jobs and 10 million unfilled manufacturing jobs globally. Our purpose is to support ‘Those Who Make the World,’ and being able to fund educational programs and non-profits that are revitalizing trade careers directly connects to our core mission. Thanks to this year’s Makers Grant Recipients, together we will be one step closer to closing the trade skills gap.”

To learn more about Stanley Black & Decker’s “Empower Makers” Global Impact Challenge, all of this year’s recipients and how non-profits may submit for the upcoming application period, please visit

Applications to the GEMS program are available at: