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Clackamas Community College nears completion on one-of-a-kind creative work space for public use

PMG PHOTO: JAELEN OGADHOH - A view of the equipment available inside the new maker space.Clackamas Community College is seeking personnel to help instruct participants and manage equipment in the new Les de Asis Makerspace, an on-campus creative workshop soon to open for public use.

Billed as the first of its kind in Clackamas County, the space will provide students and community members the ability to explore their creativity through access to tools and training in the areas of woodworking, construction, metalworking, digital manufacturing, sewing and more.

"The constituency is definitely the college community, the community at large, hobbyists, inventors, startups, things of this nature," said Mike Mattson, chair of the department of manufacturing at the college.

"If somebody is a student at the college, for example, and they have some invention they want to work on, they could come there and work on it," Mattson said of his vision for the space once it's fully up and running. "Or if they're a member of the public in general and they have a hobby project."

Mattson said an organizing team is currently in the process of recruiting teachers and volunteers to help iron out logistical details, such as establishing a training program for future participants.

For people to come in and use the tools, there has to be some amount of training," Mattson said. "We're inviting people in who want to help us set up the training and establish the physical space."

Mattson added that all of the necessary tools and machinery have been acquired, but the team remains understaffed in certain areas, including volunteers with background experience in woodworking.PMG PHOTO: JAELEN OGADHOH - A view of the equipment available inside the new maker space.

"I have plenty of (volunteers) who are interested in the 3D printers and the laser cutters and things like that," Mattson said.

Until the space is ready to be open fully, Mattson said CCC will be hosting a series of informal weekend sessions at the space, which is located in the Holden Industrial Technology Center at the college's Oregon City campus.

"We're not advertising broadly, but we have, some people who are kind of word of mouth, some students from the College of Engineering, we have some people from the public who have expressed interest," Mattson said, adding that he will continually update the department's Eventbrite page with details as informal sessions are scheduled.

"We're certainly willing to meet with folks and see what their needs are, if they have a particular project that they want to work on," he continued. "We can kind of tailor our development so that we can serve those people."

CCC President Tim Cook said in December 2020, shortly after the space was announced, that the college is positioned in the community to build programs that encourage entrepreneurism.

"CCC is dedicated to offering quality educational programs on our campuses that support innovative thinkers," Cook said. "The makerspace opens doors for a diverse group of students, entrepreneurs and employers who want to expand their skills in manufacturing while bringing their inspiring ideas to life to benefit the community."

The new space is named after the late Les de Asis, entrepreneur and founder of Oregon City-based Benchmade Knife Company, which has a longstanding partnership wih the college.

To ensure the space is accessible and affordable to all people in the community, Benchmade and the de Asis family have donated equipment and funds to the Clackamas Community College Foundation.PMG PHOTO: JAELEN OGADHOH - The space is named after Les De Asis, entrepreneur and founder of Oregon City-based Benchmade Knives.

"The Benchmade family is honored to give back to our community by supporting this new makerspace," said Jon deAsis, president and CEO of Benchmade.

"It embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of my father, Les de Asis, who founded Benchmade, and I hope that this makerspace will give entrepreneurial-minded people an opportunity to experience careers in manufacturing and personal success through bold invention," he added.


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