The Ball Brothers Foundation has awarded grants totaling $250,000 to Ball State University, Purdue Polytechnic Institute, Ivy Tech Community College and the Sustainable Muncie Corporation. The funding will support programming inside MadJax, a more than 80,000-square-foot “maker space” in downtown Muncie.

The grants are intended to bolster efforts to build relationships between the four institutions, K-12 schools and local employers.

Ball State University will use $40,000 in grant funding to develop a “Community Makers Hub” inside MadJax, expanding the College of Architecture and Planning’s current space in the building and establishing what it calls “a new presence” for the School of Art.

Purdue Polytechnic Institute will use grants totaling $30,000 to create a customized certificate in engineering technology in collaboration with Muncie Community Schools, to work with local employers to develop custom skills training courses for current employees, to create a series of non-credit “maker workshops” and STEM outreach activities for K-12 schools, and to update robotics and automated advanced manufacturing training equipment. 

Ivy Tech Community College Muncie-Henry Co. Campus will use $20,000 to expand its Upward Bound presence in MadJax and will also support the build-out of office space for Project Leadership, a local non-profit organization.

A $170,000 grant to the Sustainable Muncie Corporation from the fund will support general operations, capital projects and infrastructure of the MadJax facility.

“Our region has a tremendous legacy of ‘making’ things that extends back for over a century. As forces like automation, technology, and globalization reshape workforce demands, we hope to build on the rich heritage of this community and build a pipeline of students who are prepared to enter the workforce equipped with innovative, entrepreneurial, problem-solving mindsets,” said Jud Fisher, president and chief operating officer of the Ball Brothers Foundation.