Baltimore’s Small Makers Helping To Revive Urban Manufacturing
by Tom Hall and Rob Sivak
December 29, 2016
(l-r) Will Hollman, Open Works General Manager; Andy Cook, founder of the Made in Baltimore campaign for the City’s Office of Sustainability; Rasheed Aziz, founder of the CityWide Youth Entrepreneurship Program.
Photo Credit: JAZZY STUDIOS, JUSTIN TSUCALAS, RASHEED AZIZ
To listen to the conversation, click here: http://wypr.org/post/baltimores-small-makers-helping-revive-urban-manufacturing-0
*This conversation originally aired on October 6, 2016.
Forty years ago, Baltimore was a major manufacturing center. One third of the city’s workforce was employed in factories both large and small. Today, just 5% of Charm City’s workforce earns a living making things. That decline has played out in cities across the country.
US manufacturing employment peaked in 1979, and it’s been declining ever since, down to just 9% of the national workforce today. Baltimore’s manufacturing base has suffered, just like everywhere else in the nation, from cheap labor overseas, surging imports, new technologies and a changing business climate.
Today we look at the evolving state of manufacturing in Baltimore through the lens of three innovators who’ve been working in various ways to foster a flowering of small business manufacturing and artisan craftwork, such as textiles and furniture-making. Will Holman is the General Manager of Open Works, the $11.5-million “makerspace” that opened September 19th in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District, near Greenmount Cemetery. He’s an architect by training, and also a furniture maker. Andy Cook is the founder of the “Made in Baltimore” campaign, a project of The Baltimore City Planning Department’s Office of Sustainability. “Made in Baltimore” is partnering with the Urban Manufacturing Alliance on a study to assess the State of Urban Manufacturing across the country. Baltimore will serve as one of the case study cities. Rasheed Aziz is here as well. He launched the CityWide Youth Entrepreneurship Program in 2010 to work with teens in Baltimore’s most distressed neighborhoods. They all join Tom in the studio.