Reps. Takano, Schneider Introduce Bill to Support Education, Small Businesses through Makerspaces
Washington, D.C. – Reps. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) introduced legislation today to encourage the development of community technology co-ops, known as “makerspaces,” which promote education and support small businesses by providing students and entrepreneurs access to tools and technology. The MORE Makerspaces Act of 2017 would ease the process for federal agencies to sell unused public buildings, so they can be converted into makerspaces that will benefit the community.
The bill’s introduction coincides with the National Week of Making, which began on Friday, June 16 and concludes Thursday, June 22.
“Communal areas that encourage creativity, provide access to technology, and promote hands-on learning can be vital to a community’s culture and its economy,” said Rep. Takano. “In my district, and in districts across the country, I have seen the value that makerspaces bring to local residents, and I hope this legislation can help more communities experience the benefits of connecting talented people with the technology and education they need to reach their potential.”
“The hands-on learning environment of a makerspace can help spark a passion for creativity in our young people and build a foundation of skills for tomorrow’s careers in engineering, advanced manufacturing, coding, robotics, and more,” said Rep. Schneider. “This bill ensures more communities will have access to and benefit from these hubs of technological experimentation and innovation, and I’m proud to introduce it with my colleague Rep. Takano during this National Week of Making.”
The MORE Makerspaces Act would instruct the Public Buildings Reform Board to create guidelines for how a federal agency would lease or sell an unused property to be used as a makerspace. It also requires the board to inform municipalities and Members of Congress about properties in their district that would be eligible for a use as a makerspace.
In 2013, Rep. Takano co-founded the Congressional Maker Caucus to support innovation and creativity in the community.
Josh Weisz, 202-225-2305
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