Skills for the 21st Century

There’s No Place Like Innovation: Check out Makerspace, DC

From cities to small towns, innovation spaces are transforming the way people work across the country. Over the past 10 years, innovation spaces—such as incubators, accelerators, innovation centers, co-working spaces—have not only become the fastest growing type of real estate in the United States, but have served as the launching pad for some of the country’s most cutting-edge products and services.

Capital One has joined this evolution by helping to make Washington, D.C.’s first creative tech hub located within an affordable housing residence a reality. The Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC)/Capital One Makerspace, located within Overlook at Oxon Run apartments in Washington DC’s Southeast Ward 8 community, focuses on serving budding community artists and technologists. The space features a fabric room, a woodshop stocked with tools, laser engravers, 3D carvers, and a tech lab, featuring 3D printers, Windows Studio Pro desktops and laptops.

This makerspace provides a way for generations to connect over a project.” — Laura Bailey, SVP Community Finance and Community Affairs

The CPDC/Capital One Makerspace aims to bridge generational gaps among low-income residents and increase their access to new technologies. It is significantly cheaper than other innovation spaces and will help residents potentially turn their skills into a business.

“This makerspace provides a way for generations to connect over a project,” Laura Bailey, SVP Community Finance and Community Affairs. “I could see a senior teaching a young person how to knit in those rooms, or a young person figuring out how to use the 3D printing machine and becoming the building’s guru for that particular technology.”

The Capital One Community Finance team is a specialized lending and investment team that originates loans and investments primarily in support of affordable housing. The team utilizes tax credits generated by the properties themselves and works with community partners to provide unique supportive services within low-income properties.

“We take a holistic approach to our community loans and investments,” said Bailey. “We engage with trusted partners to build thriving spaces and make safe, affordable housing a reality for individuals and families.”