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Sierra College Student Career Plans Accelerated by Hacker Lab

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Phil Mally

Sierra College student, Phil Mally, was selected by Hacker Lab as the February Maker of the Month at the makerspace’s Rocklin site.

Mally joined Hacker Lab Powered by Sierra College less than a year ago, and he indicated that membership has opened up many opportunities for him. “Being a part of the Hacker Lab community has accelerated my life plans by making me aware of new possibilities,” said Mally. “I discovered 3D printing and the Sierra College student membership gave me access to people and resources to develop my skills in using, maintaining and teaching classes on how to use 3D printers. It shaped my career plans.”

Mally’s many contributions to the Hacker Lab Powered by Sierra College community resulted in selecting him as the February Maker of the Month, explained the Rocklin site manager, Chuck Ferguson. “Phil maintains all six of our 3D printers as well as conducts classes for those interested in learning how to design and produce prototypes on the 3D printers,” said Ferguson. “He is a success story – after developing new skills, he found employment working for a Hacker Lab member who started his business here. Phil is always ready to offer assistance to others and support our maker community.”

Sierra College students can join Hacker Lab for $12.50 per month. Hacker Lab offers 3D printing classes on Tuesday nights in Rocklin, taught by Mally. Find classes on the calendar https://hackerlab.org/events/.

As an automotive student at Sierra College, Mally developed his mechanical skills and then supplemented those taking mechatronics classes at the college. He said that he’d always liked computers and took Sierra College classes while he was in high school. “3D printing is the best of both worlds,” said Mally. “The 3D printing class at Hacker Lab made me curious about taking a 3D printer apart and figuring out how it worked. It is so useful in building things that are impossible to make with injection molding; the additive process to make projects opens up a whole world of possibilities.”

According to Carol Pepper-Kittredge, CCC Maker Statewide Project Manager, housed at Sierra College, college makerspaces enable students to take short classes, practice their skills in a supportive environment and share what they learn with others. “Phil discovered an interest in a technology he previously knew nothing about at Hacker Lab,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “It sparked his curiosity and built on what he’d learned at Sierra College. He is now teaching others how to use the 3D printers and is pursuing a career in a growing industry.”

When he first heard about Hacker Lab, Mally says that he wasn’t sure what the makerspace offered. “I couldn’t believe that a place like this existed,” said Mally. “I expected Hacker Lab to be a serious place but soon discovered it was a lot of fun. It gave me the freedom to use equipment I assumed was far out of reach due to prohibitively high costs and education involved. I also realized how extremely valuable it was to connect with people. It is really nice to see the positive impact of teaching others how to use the 3D printer.”

Sierra College and Hacker Lab’s public-private partnership formed one of the first college community makerspaces in the United States. Under the California Community College Chancellor’s Office’s Workforce Development Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy framework, Sierra College is the Fiscal Agent and Technical Assistance Provider for the statewide CCC Maker project to support colleges in building educational makerspaces.

Hacker Lab Powered by Sierra College has just moved into a larger 15,000 sq. ft. building down the street at 4415 Granite Dr, Rocklin, CA that offers offices and meeting space in addition to the much larger makerspace. Find more classes, bootcamps, co-working and making at the Hacker Lab website - https://hackerlab.org/.

About Sierra College Workforce Development

Sierra College Workforce Development is focused on delivering customized training to meet the needs of employers. Additional information is available at www.sierracollegetraining.com.

About Hacker Lab

Established in 2012 in Sacramento, Hacker Lab aims to educate folks and spark innovation with community driven resources. Offering co-working, maker space, courses, meet-ups and events, Hacker Lab believes that technology can change the world and the starting point is education. Hacker Lab has locations in Sacramento and Rocklin. Learn more at the Hacker Lab website http://hackerlab.org/.

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