Houston Makerspace Transforming Surrounding Neighborhood
The East End of Houston has a long history of early industry. Now, that landscape is shifting, transforming into a core of innovation and entrepreneurship.
That change is boosted by the new East End Maker Hub. The 300,000 square foot facility is being called the largest innovation maker hub in the state of Texas and will serve as a community fabrication space and incubator hub with workforce training and apprenticeship programs.
A $5 million EDA investment funded the renovation of the former Baker Hughes oil manufacturing facility to house the Hub.
The Hub will provide labs and workshops for startups at a low cost, allow access to specialized equipment for small manufacturers who couldn’t afford to buy it themselves, as well as house larger, Fortune 500 companies.
Earlier this month, the Hub hosted its grand opening, where officials highlighted the differences it will bring to the surrounding neighborhood. Businesses housed in the Hub have pledged to fill a portion of their jobs with residents who live nearby.
“The Hub is building wealth in the community, enhancing the surrounding neighborhood, while creating jobs,” Patrick Ezzell, President of the Urban Partnerships Community Development Corporation said.
Officials predict the Maker Hub will create more than 400 new jobs and they have a goal of creating 1,000 new companies in the next five years.
“The East End Maker Hub provides an opportunity to reclaim our history in manufacturing and ensure that process of innovation is equitable,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said.
The Maker Hub isn’t the only recent EDA investment into the East End of Houston. In October 2019, the SER-Jobs for Progress of the Texas Gulf Coast, Inc. was awarded a $5 million EDA grant to establish a new workforce training center to develop skilled workers to support the growth of critical business sectors.