By Meredith Olsen
At Koch, we embrace innovation and its limitless potential to improve the lives of individuals and their communities. Wichita is a city filled with ideas, dreams and the will to make it happen. Together, we must create the conditions necessary for everyone to unlock their creative potential, enabling Wichitans to discover their passions, find success and create value for themselves and their communities.
Starting in April, Wichitans will have access to GoCreate, a state-of-the-art space located on the Innovation Campus at Wichita State University. Koch Industries and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation are proud to partner with Wichita State to fund membership and training assistance to this high-tech collaboration lab open to people of all ages and skill levels.
At GoCreate, Wichitans have access to industrial quality equipment to make products in more than eight state-of-the-art labs, including 3-D printing, glass, metals, textiles, woods and more. From artists to engineers, high school students to retirees, everyone should have an opportunity to develop their skills and pursue their passions – particularly those who might not have the opportunity based on the high cost to access training and equipment.
The Koch membership and training assistance program provides people of all backgrounds and abilities the opportunity to pursue their passions and be a catalyst for business creation and economic growth.
GoCreate, however, is more than a building with top notch equipment. GoCreate provides an environment where members have the freedom to ask for help and receive friendly support from a mentor with expert knowledge in metalwork, woodworking, electronics and textiles. GoCreate mentors will answer questions and provide guidance in an environment that values the free flow of knowledge and sharing of ideas.
Charles Koch, chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, encapsulates the value of a makerspace community in saying, “The greatest gift we can receive or pass on is the opportunity to find and pursue our passion, and in doing so, to make a difference by helping others improve their lives.”
Koch Industries believes that removing barriers to opportunity will allow individuals to discover their unique talents and abilities and improve their lives. In addition to GoCreate, this belief fuels the programs we support as a company, including Rise Up For Youth, Urban Prep Academy, Youth Entrepreneurs and many more right here in Wichita.
Each of these programs fosters an environment that encourages participants to discover their talents, which is so important for finding a pathway to success and fulfillment, both in their lives and within our community.
From inventing a new product to starting a small business or developing trade skills, GoCreate members have unlimited possibilities to develop their own pathways to success. Our hope is to see members explore their creative potential as artists, innovators and entrepreneurs. And we are excited about the future possibilities GoCreate will provide for Wichita and our community.
Meredith Olson is the vice president of public affairs for Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC. She leads corporate philanthropy and community programs, with a specific emphasis on creating opportunities for earned success for the least fortunate.
This article originally appeared in The Wichita Eagle on February 27, 2017