Students Pivot During Pandemic to Produce PPE for Thousands

Highlights of New Collar Network Accomplishments since 2020



Launch People of the New Collar Workforce AR Book 

  • CES Las Vegas January 2020
    • Gary’s [CES CEO] Book Club Book signing
    • Onstage interview


Following COVID closure of our 2 buildings, Pivot to focus on Manufacturing PPE’s

  • Manufacture 30,000 face shields in collaboration with Harvard & MIT using Die Cutting for hospitals serving Native Americans
  • Manufacture 500 face mask comfort extenders for La Mantanita Co-op staff
  • Develop anti-microbial face mask in collaboration with Mitsubishi
  • Develop 3D Printed Coronavirus test swabs in collaboration with USC Medical Center
  • Design mobile hand washing station in collaboration with Santa Fe Indian School


US DOL Registered Apprenticeship Program

  • With Youngstown State University as our Sponsor developed 3D Printing Technician US DOL Registered Apprenticeship
  • Digital Badges approved by US DOL as the training method for the apprenticeship 1-year framework
  • Covid-displaced intern from SFCC hired as 1st apprentice




Online Classes Launched

  • Blackboard Set Up as Learning Management System with integration developed into BadgrPro for auto-issuing badges when courses complete
  • Self-paced Classes with Drop-shipped 3D Printers developed & launched on Matterhackers and 3D Printlife websites
  • Instructor-led online Fusion 360 course developed with 24-hours of instruction, peer review, & instructor help to complete a project


3 COVID-displaced hospitality workers hired into registered apprenticeship program


Middle School Mini-badges

With funding from NIST, we collaborated with an America Makes team to break down our digital badges into mini-badges for Middle School students. The project also included animations of our teaching materials with Alyiah teaching. Instructor guides help teachers through the mini-lessons and hands-on practice.



NM Dept. of Workforce Solutions Bootcamp

During Covid, the Ready NM Program was created by the State of NM to re-skill workers displaced from the hospitality and entertainment industries. The New Collar Network created a 4-week, immersive, full-time 3D Printing Technician Master Badge comprising digital badges in:

Design Thinking                          Intro to Digital Design                Design for 3D Printing

CAM for FDM 3D Printing         Fundamentals of FDM 3D Printing

Post-processing                         Troubleshooting & Maintenance

Technical Writing for Project Portfolio Creation


High School diploma or GED required, but no other experience in CAD or 3D Printing needed to apply. In two cohorts of 20 students each, we had 50% females, 40% Hispanic and 1% Native American [pueblos were shut down for travel] attendance. Average age of students was 40 years old ranging from 17 – 55.

Of the 40 students, only 2 people did not successfully complete the program, one due to family/transportation issues and one was dismissed for substance abuse. 6 students went on to take advanced Fusion 360 CAD design through New Collar Network badges, 1 entered a welding apprenticeship in Albuquerque, and 2 started their own design/printing businesses. We had not set up formal pathways to employers, partially due to company COVID closures, which is our next step in the badge to job pathway with this project.

Significantly, two 50-year old students, one an Hispanic janitor in a rural elementary school and the other a heavy equipment operator at the Santa Fe Ski Basin, within 2 weeks of starting the program were designing and 3D Printing threaded parts with no prior CAD design experience.

Several students, including an autistic 26 year-old woman, fabricated projects that included articulated joints allowing for movement from their own designs.

Neither type of element is simple, and demonstrates the innate capability of students that our experiential teaching methodology fosters.




After 2 years of working together, LANL announced that they would accept “Equivalent Experience” not just AA degrees for entry level technician jobs in digital fabrication.


After-School Program at Santa Fe Indian School


Through grants from the Los Alamos National Lab Foundation and The Encantado Foundation, New Collar Network is piloting a 3D Printing pre-apprenticeship program for high school students with the Santa Fe Indian School. Building upon the U.S. DOL 3D Printing technician registered apprenticeship, the students earn digital badges using Project-based Learning, learn about jobs from current workers, and advanced students experience hands-on paid work.

  • 13 students earned Intro to Digital Design and Design for 3D Printing Digital Badges
  • 2 students given scholarships for Summer 2022 advanced CAD design software [24 hours class time Fusion 360] digital badge and Professional Development to serve as Teaching Assistants [TA’s] for the fall 2022 class. Paid rate of $15/hour
  • 1 SFIS graduate who completed our trainings in summer 2022 hired into US Dept. of Labor 3D Printing technician registered apprenticeship [RA] program


City of Santa Fe High School Internship Program

1 student hired for internship including 3D Printing digital badges and on-the-job training


Santa Fe Public Schools

  • 32 middle school teachers and 16 Digital Coaches have gone through Professional Development course and earned digital badge for teaching 3D Printing middle school mini-badges we developed in collaboration with America Makes – most of these teachers had printers in their building but had never run them despite being part of the SF 21st century schools program



  • Hispanic Woman jewelry designer and SFIS graduate [see above] hired into program
  • Apprentice Alec Kerr completes program and is hired as New Collar Manager, Programs & Customer Experience



  • Translated teaching materials into Spanish both for HS/Adult badges and Middle School mini-badges
  • Consulted with University of Michigan Culturally Situated Design Tools program to integrate diverse learning styles into teaching methodology



Badge Host Sites

Pantheon Construction in Youngstown OH signed up as a host site via their non-profit. Director has a MEd in Curriculum Design and is a former school principal. We plan to develop digital badges for 3D Printed construction workers.


May 2022 New Collar Summit



Santa Fe Public Schools

Expanded paid internship program for high school students paid for by the City of SF Dept. of Economic Development



Offered 3D Printing Digital Badge bootcamps with funding from Santa Fe County and received award from NM Dept. of Workforce Solutions to provide 12-week 3D Printing Master Badge to cohort of 10 unemployed workers.


Employer Engagement

Started a formal program to create direct pathways to jobs for Digital Badge micro-certification earners. Employers include LANL, Meow Wolf, Roadrunner Venture Studios, and NM State Dental Association.


Internal Instructor Training

With growth of the programs, a formal instructor training program was started. 2 graduates of our badge program participated and serve as teaching assistants. We expect they will start teaching independently in the fall.


Badge Host Sites

In NM Adding Bernalillo Public Schools and San Juan College [Farmington] to host sites.