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Lead Fabricator / Designer

Tiny WPA seeks a strong designer with considerable analog and digital fabrication experience to help grow our participatory design and fabrication capacity. Every year Tiny WPA and our Building Heroes have raised the bar on the quality and durability of the things that we design and make with and for clients and community members. This has led to considerable new opportunities for Heroes to ‘learn and earn’ while making a difference in their communities throughout Philadelphia. We are looking for someone to help shape and support the continued growth of this work, while ensuring that the impact and quality of the work produced is at the highest possible level. You must be comfortable being ‘strong and wrong’ and find great joy in working with and supporting the aspirations of people who are not like you--whether it be age, gender or socioeconomic background.

RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE

1- Leading, managing and growing The Building Hero Project's contract and product fabrication, marketing and sales.

This includes managing and overseeing the fabrication of products, community builds, contract fabrication work, and related budgets; leading product development and marketing for The Building Hero Etsy Store; and growing The Building Hero Project’s socially good custom contract fabrication services.

2- Supporting community-driven design and placemaking projects in Philadelphia.

One project includes 1) working with residents and organizations in the Promise Zone to identify and prioritize the community’s needed public space improvements, to include both amenities and locations; 2) helping to co-design amenities that address prioritized needs; 3) working with local stakeholders to improve 3-4 public space in the Promise Zone; 4) training stakeholders to fabricate and maintain amenities and gather data; and 5) building local capacity and creating a dialogue around public space needs and larger improvements in the neighborhood.

3- Workshop and Stop By + Build! Manager

You will be one part ‘den mother/father’ and one part shop manager for #4017Lancaster, our community-focused makerspace. This means ensuring that people of all ages and backgrounds feel welcome, engaged and supported and that the workshop area is clean, maintained and organized effectively to meet everyone’s needs. A key part of this is overseeing Tiny WPA’s weekly Stop By + Build open building session every Wednesday; coordinating volunteers for Stop By + Build; managing the upkeep of the workshop including tracking and maintaining tools, equipment and computers; and ordering supplies. As we continue to grow this will include developing and implementing new storage and organization systems; creating protocols for new tools; and establishing new maintenance routines.

Note - Depending on the various strengths of the final hires for the Lead Designer/Fabricator and Building Hero Project Manager positions, there is some flexibility to swap certain roles between the two positions.

QUALIFICATIONS & SKILLS

We are looking for someone who is an excellent builder/fabricator and designer, and loves supporting the aspirations of people of all ages.

More specifically:

  • 2+ years experience performing a role substantially similar to the essential functions of this job description.

  • Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design, Product Design, Architecture, Furniture Design, Urban Planning or related field.

  • You must have a strong design ‘eye’ and sense of design. Please provide work/project samples that demonstrate your design skills and aesthetics. Showing professional and school work as well as personal projects (even small personal creations-- furniture, graphic design, art, etc.) will help us get a good sense of your abilities and how you approach design.

  • Experience tracking and managing detailed budgets.

  • Rock solid proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite, SketchUp and Google Docs is required. Experience with AutoCad, Solidworks and/or Rhino is a plus. 

  • Solid fabrication and woodworking experience is required; mig welding and CNC experience are a plus. You will be frequently using laser and vinyl cutters.

  • Teaching experience is not absolutely required but you must be exceptional at and love working with people. Deep curiosity about how people best learn, create and collaborate is a plus.

  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written. Due to Tiny WPA’s incredibly collaborative nature, we prefer over-communication.

  • Experience managing project budgets, producing estimates, or general project management.

  • Attention to detail is a must.

Tiny WPA is a small nonprofit. We work really hard, but deeply love our work. A typical work week averages 50 hours. When there are work surges, we will happily provide commensurate days off.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

1- Please email a cover letter, resume, portfolio, website, or images of at least four work or project samples to Renee Schacht at renee@tinywpa.org with "Lead Fabricator" in the subject line. We love Google Docs, so feel free to share a folder with all of these items.

2- We need to see you learning, designing and building with others! Schedule a time to design-build for a number of hours during Stop By + Build with people of all ages or volunteer on a project. You will quickly know if you love or hate the occasional controlled chaos and we get to see if you are a good fit.

3- Share anything else that helps us understand how you see and approach building, design, learning and/or community development. This can include your website, Instagram feed or photos of even the smallest hacks, improvements or creations you’ve made around your home, neighborhood or work.

We will review applications on a rolling basis, but hope to fill the position by the beginning of November.

Tiny WPA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  A diverse staff is critical to our mission. Individuals of diverse interests and backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. 


Building Hero Project Manager

Tiny WPA is seeking an experienced fabricator /  educator / instructor who loves people, especially supporting everyone from kids through seniors in designing and building great things that make a positive difference around issues or in places that are important to them. You must be incredibly comfortable working, leading and following people who are not like you--whether it be age, gender or socioeconomic background. You also must be comfortable being ‘strong and wrong’. While extensive teaching experience is a plus, it is not required and first and foremost you should be good at and find great joy in working with people. Having deep curiosity in how people best learn and create or an entrepreneurial background will also be helpful.

RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE

1- Leading, managing and teaching the Building Hero Training Program. 

This includes teaching the 8-week Training Program 2-3 times per year. Class size ranges from 8-10 individuals. The program is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-8pm. Fundamentally different from other design-education initiatives, the Training is action-oriented and product-driven with a focus on using design to solve everyday needs in people’s lives. Participants learn to create products to address personal needs around them while also acquiring valuable design and manufacturing skills through the fabrication of other existing Building Hero products such as a tray, desk organizer, and side table. The Training concludes with a building-oriented service project for a local non-profit. Past projects have included renovating a community garden at an elementary school and creating planter benches for nearby supportive housing.

2- Managing, supporting and growing Tiny WPA’s Building Hero Community.

You will be one part ‘den mother/father’ for the Building Heroes and #4017Lancaster, our community-focused makerspace. This means ensuring that people of all ages and backgrounds feel welcome, engaged and supported; managing regular communication and outreach with past and present Building Heroes; recruiting new Heroes; maintaining and strengthening the Building Hero Training Program through awareness via social media (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter); organizing regular Building Hero events and activities; as well as regularly evaluating and assessing the Training.

3- Helping grow Tiny WPA’s workforce development initiatives.

We believe that everything that is broken or missing in the community, a public space, a home and/or a classroom are opportunities for engaged learning, building community, stimulating entrepreneurship, and growing equity.  Tiny WPA empowers people with the knowledge and experience to solve these broken or missing things, while acquiring valuable life-long design, critical thinking, creative problem solving, communication, and leadership skills to be the next generation of change agents.  You will work with Tiny WPA staff to formalize a workforce development program, in collaboration with local organizations and agencies, around the use of urban wood to create products and durable park amenities.

4- Assisting with The Building Hero Project’s socially good custom contract fabrication services.

‘Hero Fabrication’ projects and product fabrication for the Building Hero Etsy store are key tools for supporting Building Heroes. As such you will work in partnership with the Lead Designer/Fabricator to ensure that contract and product fabrication as well as other opportunities for Building Heroes to ‘learn and earn’ are completed in a meaningful, effective and timely fashion.

Note - Depending on the various strengths of the final hires for the Building Hero Project Manager and Lead Designer/Fabricator positions, there is some flexibility to swap certain roles between the two positions.

QUALIFICATIONS & SKILLS

We are looking for someone who is a stellar educator, builder/fabricator and community/team builder.

More specifically:

  • 2+ years experience performing a role substantially similar to the essential functions of this job description.

  • Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design, Product Design, Architecture, Furniture Design, Urban Planning, Graphic Design, Education, Engineering or a related arts field. 

  • Solid fabrication and woodworking experience is required; mig welding and CNC experience are a plus but not required. You will be frequently using laser and vinyl cutters.

  • Rock solid proficiency with Adobe Illustrator, SketchUp and Google Docs is required. Experience with AutoCad, Solidworks and/or Rhino is a plus. 

  • Formal or informal teaching experience, particularly leading groups of people (8-30 people) in learning, creative or service activities. Specifically, you must be exceptional at and love working with and supporting the aspirations of people of all ages. Deep curiosity about how people best learn, create and collaborate is a plus.

  • While a design background is not absolutely necessary for this position, you must have a strong design ‘eye’ and sense of design. Please provide work/project samples that demonstrate your design skills and aesthetics. Showing professional and school work as well as personal projects (even small personal creations-- furniture, graphic design, art, etc.) will help us get a good sense of your abilities and how you approach design.

  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written. Due to Tiny WPA’s incredibly collaborative nature, we prefer over-communication.

  • Experience managing project budgets, project supplies or general project management.

  • Attention to detail is a must.

Tiny WPA is a small nonprofit. We work really hard and deeply love our work. A typical work week averages 50 hours. When there are work surges, we will happily provide commensurate days off.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

1- Please email a cover letter, resume and portfolio, website or images of at least four work or project samples to Renee Schacht at renee@tinywpa.org with "Building Hero Project Manager" in the subject line. We love Google Docs, so feel free to share a folder with all of these items.

2- We need to see you learning, designing and building with others! Schedule a time to design-build for a number of hours during Stop By + Build with people of all ages or volunteer on a project. You will quickly know if you love or hate the occasional controlled chaos and we get to see if you are a good fit. 

3- Share anything else that helps us understand how you see and approach building, design, learning and/or community development. This can include your website, Instagram feed or photos of even the smallest hacks, improvements or creations you’ve made around your home, neighborhood, or work.

We will review applications on a rolling basis, but hope to fill the position by the beginning of November.

Tiny WPA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  A diverse staff is critical to our mission. Individuals of diverse interests and backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. 


Fabricator

Tiny WPA is seeking a highly motivated, reliable and detailed-oriented fabricator to work 20 hours per week. He/she will assist with our community improvement & design/build projects, contract fabrication, and Building Hero product fabrication. This is a special opportunity to build your skills, portfolio and work with other amazing people on projects that are nationally unique.

This is an entry-level, part-time position. Ideal candidates should have an enthusiastic interest in design, building and helping others make and do great things in Philadelphia. While having experience with wood working tools, a laser cutter, vinyl cutter and/or Adobe Illustrator is extremely helpful, having a high level of attention to detail and a willingness to do whatever it takes to make sure something is done well--whether the task be large or small--are the most important traits required for this position.

RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE

  • Assisting in preparing for projects (i.e. gathering and organizing tools and materials, etc.)

  • Maintaining inventory of tools and materials

  • Moving and lifting up to 100+ lbs.

  • Working with West Philadelphia residents on design-build neighborhood improvement projects

  • Assisting with custom contract fabrication and the Building Hero Project Store

  • Updating daily social media accounts

QUALIFICATIONS & SKILLS

  • Ideal candidate will be familiar with woodworking tools, a laser cutter, a vinyl cutter and/or Adobe Illustrator

  • Attention to detail

  • Familiar with and regularly use of Instagram

  • Positive attitude and strong interpersonal skills

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

  • An independent problem solver with a collaborative spirit

WHO SHOULD APPLY?

In this position, you will work closely with a small team in a flexible environment where everyone helps each other when needed. While we are flexible and will be supportive of your goals and aspirations, you need to be able to commit to 20 regularly scheduled hours each week. You should also be able to schedule these work hours during the hours of 9:30 am-7:00 pm, Monday through Friday (preferably during the hours of 9:30-5:00 pm). Salary is commensurate with experience. Tiny WPA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. A diverse staff is critical to our mission. Individuals of diverse interests and backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

HOW TO APPLY

1- Please email your cover letter and resume to Renee Schacht at renee@tinywpa.org with "Part-Time Fabricator" in the subject line. 

2- Although not required, if you have a portfolio, website, or social media account that documents things that you make, design, or build--no matter how large or small-- please send that as well. 

3- We highly recommend visiting our community focused workshop at 4017 Lancaster Ave. before you apply. Please come by and say hello during normal business hours, 10:00 am-6:30 pm, Monday through Friday. The best time to visit is during Stop By + Build, our free weekly open building session, every Wednesday from 4:00-7:00 pm. Visiting during this time will give you the best sense of who we are and how we work.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.