Sections

Print jobs: Shortly after layoffs, MakerBot opens new factory, begins hiring

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Photo gallery

1/5
Maker makers: The company makes machines that can craft just about anything, but the the devices are still assembled by hand.
2/5
Factory online: The production floor was buzzing when MakerBot took us on a tour of its new factory in Sunset Park.
3/5
Bot farm: Dozens of early finished Replicator model printers line shelves awaiting the last components.
4/5
Extrude awakening: Plant manager Diana Pincus talks up the company’s new “smart extruder” — essentially a 3D printer head that can be swapped on the fly.
5/5
Better and botter: Older MakerBot models took longer for workers to build because they required more screws and some soldering.

The Brooklyn tech darling that laid off 100 people in April has just opened its new factory in Sunset Park — and now the company is hiring.

MakerBot, a 3D printer manufacturer, unveiled a new factory in the waterfront industrial complex Industry City on July 22 that’s twice the size of its former space and could accommodate double the number of factory workers it has now.

The company, a leader in making 3D printers a household commodity, is looking to bring on about 40 new people just three months after it axed about 100 jobs — reportedly one-fifth of its workforce — citing a reorganization. But factory jobs weren’t really on the chopping block in the springtime cull — on the contrary, MakerBot sought to trim ancillary positions in order to beef up its factory line and quality control, according to the company’s new chief executive officer.

“There were certain areas that we had to reconsider ... retail stores being a great example of that,” said Jonathan Jaglom. “Some of [the new hiring] is back-filling, some of it is new positions, some of it is expansion in certain areas.”

Many of the new jobs are on the factory floor and require little formal education or training, the manufactory’s manager said.

“We typically require a high-school diploma and we like to see a couple of years work experience,” said Diana Pincus. “Ideally, we get people with light assembly skills.”

Fewer than 19 percent of residents living in the area around the factory have a four-year college degree or more, census data shows.

The company’s relatively low barrier to entry and good advancement prospects are a boon for locals, according to a local workforce-development group.

“MakerBot gives an opportunity for folks to get in the door at an entry level and rise within the company, and achieve some economic mobility,” said Justin Collins of the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation. “They tend to pay better wages and are more likely to have more benefits than comparable retail positions.”

The corporation is helping a few dozen low-skill workers apply for jobs at MakerBot, he said.

“We’re going be referring a good number of people there starting this coming week — mainly for assembly positions,” Collins said.

MakerBot employs about 140 people on its production line, but the new factory has room to employ twice that, Pincus said.

The company began in Gowanus in 2009 and moved offices Downtown in 2013. A year later, it relocated its Boreum Hill factory and Downtown office to Industry City.

Staff handed out 3D-printed screw-and-nut sets on Wednesday to give announcement attendees a tangible takeaway from the event, but Borough President Adams said the doohickies also symbolized potential job creation in a neighborhood that was hit hard by a decline in Brooklyn manufacturing.

“For many years, our folks in this community — instead of making screws — they felt like they were being screwed,” Adams said. “And now we have an opportunity to ensure that they be part of this great revolution that’s happening here.”

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 5:34 am, July 27, 2015
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reasonable discourse

Mary Beard from Gowanus says:
The hype around these clowns has been vomitous BUT if the cut the management fat and are bringing decent manufacturing jobs to Sunset Park, kudos to them. Let's see if any of those brownskin people are "allowed," in time, to become fat cats themselves...

UNLIKE in, say, the restaurant biz, where a jillion "Spanish" men work kitchen and delivery, almost none front of house.
July 29, 2015, 12:09 am

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!