New Hacker Lab Powered by Sierra College in Rocklin Celebrates Opening with Makers, Coders, Innovators and STEAM Advocates

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Sierra College celebrated the grand opening of the first Community College Maker Space open to the public through a private public partnership with Hacker Lab in Rocklin, CA on May 7, 2015.

1101 Willy Duncan, President, Sierra College, cuts ribbon at the Hacker Lab Grand Opening with the Rocklin and Loomis Basin Chambers of Commerce.

“We expect Hacker Lab members in Rocklin to start creating by meeting people, working in the space and using tools contributed by Sierra College.”

Sierra College is the first community college in the country to establish a unique public/private partnership to jointly open a maker space for the community with Sacramento’s Hacker Lab. The Grand Opening attracted 380 businesses representatives, students, entrepreneurs, educators and community members to the 3700 sq. ft. Hacker Lab Powered by Sierra College on May 7, 2015 in Rocklin, CA.

The Rocklin Chamber of Commerce and the Loomis Basin Chamber of Commerce kicked off the Grand Opening with a ribbon cutting and then there were presentations from Sierra College, Hacker Lab and the City of Rocklin. Visitors were enthusiastic about using the maker space, and over 30 people joined Hacker Lab on the spot. Another 160 indicated an interest in joining online and the next morning, people were lining up for tours. And, the youth Hackathon, Sacapalooza, held at the center on the weekend of May 9-10, sold out.

The California Community College located in Northern California aims to inspire innovation by collaborating with Hacker Lab to build a community innovation center where members have access to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math (STEAM) education, technology and resources to support entrepreneurship, according to Willy Duncan, Sierra College Superintendent/President.

“Sierra College is delighted to be partnering with Hacker Lab to bring this co-working and maker space to Placer County,” said Duncan. “Our students can join Hacker Lab at a deep discount and gain new STEAM skills, connect with businesses and work on projects that will enrich their education. The nearby, off-campus location enables Sierra College faculty, staff and students to collaborate more closely with businesses and the community.”

Design and engineering student Samantha Martin is already actively volunteering at Hacker Lab. “By partnering up with Hacker Lab, Sierra College is giving students to access to tools that they wouldn’t have at home,” said Martin.

Hacker Lab is a place where everyone can learn new skills, build products and launch companies, explained Eric Ullrich, Co-founder, Hacker Lab. “It is all about empowering the community,” said Ullrich. “Together with Sierra College, we have a ton of resources. We expect people to start creating by meeting people, working in the space and using our tools.”

“Hacker Lab in Rocklin has a 3D printer, laser cutter, CNC router, hand tools and soldering equipment, as well as welding, electronics, computer and textile labs,” said Ullrich. “There are also tables and meeting areas to work individually or with groups.”

Many free meet-ups and low cost classes are open to non-members. Those who join Hacker Lab have access 24 hours per day, seven days per week and can also use the mid-town Hacker Lab located at 1715 I St. in Sacramento. Individual, family and student membership rates range from $29 to $99 per month. Additional discounts are available for Sierra College staff, students and faculty.

Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Director, Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT), Sierra College, and Sierra STEM Collaborative, explained that Hacker Lab will be advantageous for businesses and students. “Elementary to college students can take what they learn in the classroom, apply the ideas, consult with industry experts, create new enterprises and discover careers that they might want to pursue,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “Businesses seeking creative solutions to meet their customers’ needs can collaborate with a cross section of experts, combine technologies and build prototypes at Hacker Lab.”

Alan Ware, Mechanical Engineer, AMW Design and Hacker Lab Instructor is an expert in 3D printing and the other tools available at Hacker Lab. “Members can design parts and then create 3D objects,” said Ware. “The laser cutter is another versatile tool that members use to cut wood, acrylic and cardboard to make and personalize jewelry, lamp shades, computer cases and prototypes.”

Hacker Lab Powered by Sierra College is now open at 4804 Granite Drive, Rocklin CA. For more information, go to

About Sierra College CACT
Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) is focused on Advanced Manufacturing training and development, and is funded through the Workforce and Economic Development program of the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. Since 1992, the Sierra College CACT has provided customized training for organizations, manufacturers and technology companies throughout Northern California. Through the Sierra STEM Collaborative, Sierra College works with college faculty as well as middle and high schools to promote STEM Education and careers. Additional information is available at and or contact Carol Pepper-Kittredge at 916-660-7801 or cpepper-kittredge (at)sierracollege(dot)edu.

About Hacker Lab
Established in 2012 in Sacramento, Hacker Lab aims to educate folks and spark innovation with community driven resources. Offering co-working, maker space, courses, meet-ups and events, Hacker Lab believes that technology can change the world and the starting point is education. In 2014, Hacker Lab had over 200 members; 120 completed a survey and 33 provided company data that showed: $3.7 million in revenue was generated and 75 jobs were created, and 20 start-up ventures were launched. Hacker Lab has locations in Sacramento and Rocklin. Learn more at the Hacker Lab website.

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Sue Michaels

Carol Pepper-Kittredge
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