Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority is finalizing plans for a project designed to bring innovators, entrepreneurs, and makers into a central location.
On August 5, Tuolumne County leaders will host a ribbon cutting for the new Innovation Lab that will open at the former Tuolumne General Hospital Campus. Economic Development Authority Director Larry Cope says members will have access to tools and resources like 3-D printers, gaming and application development computers, software design computers, an electronics lab, metal and wood shop, and other amenities.
“Generally you see products like this in more urban areas,” says Cope. “There are many in the Silicon Valley area, and some in the Los Angeles area. But from my research, there has never really been one, with what we combine, in a rural area of California, or in a rural area anywhere across the United States.”
The Innovation Lab will be located on the 3rd floor of the former TGH campus. It will be open year round, 24-7. Funding for the effort is coming through the Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority. Additional supplies and funding have also come from the Sonora Area Foundation, Kinematic, and Mother Lode Internet.
Cope says members at the Innovation Lab will need to pay a monthly fee, ranging from $59-$99, depending on the membership level.