Plans are underway to expand the Solon Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL) with an innovation center. With a focus on manufacturing and the trades, the space will provide an avenue for the city’s businesses to connect with the community and attract skilled workers.
“The city was looking to establish a maker’s space and small business incubator. We came to them as a possible partner, and they loved the idea,” says Tracy Strobel, CEO of the CCPL. “Libraries today emphasize lifelong learning and supporting people as they keep up with the changes around them, whether that’s changes in the skills they need to be successful in the workforce or be good consumers.”
The innovation center, slated to break ground this summer and open in spring 2024, will include machines capable of 3D printing, laser engraving, wide-format printing and embroidery, as well as laptops with the Adobe Creative Cloud suite and other software that will help people create prototypes and program machinery. Plans also include study and meeting rooms as well as space for companies to develop or showcase their products and available jobs.
“We have more than 900 companies in Solon, many of which need workers. We want to do our part to fill those jobs in the city. It not only helps the companies and workers, but it also makes Northeast Ohio a more vibrant place to live, work and play,” says Mayor Ed Kraus. “The business technology and focus on manufacturing is something that will serve us decades into the future and will help us continue to attract great talent.”