The region's only public maker space can buy new tools and improve its air quality with a $60,000 grant from the federal government.
Meta Makers Cooperative on Monmouth Road in Windsor received the grant from the Community Services Recovery Fund. United Way Centraide Windsor Essex County delivered it.
The non-profit maker space for local artists and hobbyists opened in 2019.
"Mandates restricted our growth at a critical phase, but now that we've received this grant, we have rocket fuel to grow and benefit our Windsor-Essex community," said president and co-founder Pauline Burnett.
Members and volunteers operate the cooperative.
"Our mission statement from the very beginning has been to provide access to tools and resources to maximize human potential," said co-founder Shawn Wilson. "This grant definitely helps us improve our tools so people in our community can explore new ideas, develop new skills, and innovate."
The grant will help purchase a state-of-the-art dust management system, new power tools, a saw-stop-enabled table saw, 3D printers, and an automated embroidery machine.
"We selected the most-requested tools based on feedback we gathered during the pandemic. We're making innovative technology accessible to members of the community who could not afford it otherwise," added Nike Steel, another co-founder.
"We cherish opportunities to collaborate with the arts community," said co-founder Jo Taylor. "By popular demand, we're using this grant to build out our pottery and glasswork capabilities and to buy tools for picture-framing."
The cooperative intends to host community open houses to share its new innovations with the public.