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Creating careers with revolutionary NGO the New Collar Network

What is the New Collar Network?

The New Collar Network is a revolutionary NGO creating careers through affordable MIT-recognized Digital Certifications in Industry 4.0. – Leveling the playing field, closing the wealth gap, supercharging today’s HiTech VoTech - from 3D Printing, to Robotics – Where Sci-Fi happens, possibility’s the new normal-and the American Dream 2.0-the new reality.

Current industry landscape

Disruptive technologies are changing how work gets done. But hi tech robots won’t be taking human jobs, rather transforming and expanding them even sometimes by two fold-turning robots into cobots, leaving them to do the heavy lifting, redundant even dangerous jobs while humans get to do what they do best. Create and innovate. These technologies are changing the very definition of work.

New Collar Network wants to usher in the Robotic age with a human touch.

How New Collar Network was established

A group of ten Fab Labs and businesses saw the enormous workforce development need for both employers and workers. The team started the non-profit North American Digital Fabrication Alliance [NADFA] to issue Digital Badges. “Currency” is a measurement of Digital Badge program value. With the Alliance as an official organization in the international Fab Lab Network founded at MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms and most of the founding organizations also being Fab Labs, its badges offer solid credibility.

Also important when measuring currency is the national scope of the program. The New Collar Network anticipates that the 350 Fab Labs in North America, along with other colleges, high schools, maker spaces, libraries and alternative learning centers will give the program solid recognition. This is important so that a credential earned in Boston will have the same underlying quality as one issued in Raton, New Mexico.

The New Collar Network's success

With funding from America Makes, NADFA member Fab Lab Hub created the initial New Collar Workforce badges for additive manufacturing. It includes curriculum and “I can” statements, as well as video tutorials, all of which were vetted by the NADFA founding members. Lab Safety badges, created by the Los Alamos National Lab, have been funded by the New Mexico Department of Economic Development and Forest Scientific is collaborating to create badges for CNC machining. Badges in laser machining, welding, design thinking and entrepreneurship are forthcoming.

Initial results have been overwhelmingly positive. Students have found New Collar jobs using skills learned in the Digital Badge program and companies have also up-skilled incumbent workers to add skills utilizing new technologies. A few badge holders have also started their own companies, forging an entrepreneur’s path that started with a single 6-week class.

At an average of 6 weeks completion time and about a $250 investment, Digital Badges are economical in both time and cost. The New Collar Network's hope is that Digital Badges can create opportunity for everyone in the New Collar Workforce.

Customer experience

New Mexico award winning jeweler Mayte Cardenas came to the program with little to no experience on a computer much less 3D design, printing nor college education. By the time she graduated the program she was creating award winning designs that allowed her work to truly catapult forward in a way never possible before. “With 3D Design and Printing, I’m now able to create a place for myself in the market that has not only been profitable but allows me my own unique identity - previous to this time I was not allowed into certain markets, today I’ve created my own very prosperous one due to what I’ve been able to accomplish through working with the New Collar Network.”

About the team

Leading the team is 30 year veteran Female in Tech Thought Leader Sarah Boisvert whose life is defined by a passionate pursuit to transform lives by reinvigorating American manufacturing and innovation. Inspired to work with her team by utilizing a strengths based approach, she not only works from her own passion but leads others to do the same.

Two of the Department of Labor Registered Apprentices as 3D Printing Technicians came straight out of the loss of jobs from COVID. Both were highly trained through being self-taught yet found themselves working in the hospitality industry. When COVID hit, they both lost their jobs and were unemployed. Today, they are able to not only continue to “earn while they learn” but also teach others their skills as well as utilizing them to create products for communities in need including everything from prosthetics to producing masks during the pandemic to local hospitals and hard hit Native American communities. Once unrecognized for their skills, talents and hard work, now they are well-compensated, recognized and transforming not only the lives of others but in some cases using their skills to save lives. They are available for interviews if needed.

Sarah is sure to also bring in other voices to move the conversation forward on exactly what innovation will look like today and in the future, bringing in such inspiring voices as Avi Reichental -Founder, CEO & Chairman of XponentialWorks, to Simon Woodruff-CEO of Virtual Reality business SciVista, to Augmented Reality Book Publisher, Founder and President of RealityX2, Robert Erlichman, to Silicon Valley’s and NM Innovation Triangle’s John Rizzo.


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