Keynote Speaker
 
Sarah Boisvert

Founder of New Collar Network and Fab Lab Hub

Sarah Boisvert's career spans advanced “smart” manufacturing, art and music, and innovative workforce training. Her mission as part of the Fab Lab Network is to create pathways that often do not require college degrees to well-paying, engaging “New Collar” careers, utilizing disruptive technologies like 3D printing, laser machining, robotics, VR and AI/machine learning. As co-founder of Potomac Photonics, Inc., which invented and manufactured the laser for LASIK eye surgery as well as laser machine tools for micro-manufacturing, she was one of the leading women in a male-dominated industry. Since selling the company, Boisvert has been dedicated to workforce training in her Santa Fe, New Mexico Fab Lab Hub.

In 2017, she interviewed 200 manufacturing companies to define the digital skills that manufacturing operators and technicians need today. The resulting book published by Photonics Media Press, "The New Collar Workforce," documents the study. Her second book, "People of the New Collar Workforce," uses augmented reality to bring worker stories to life via embedded video links.

In collaboration with America Makes, the national 3D printing institute, she recently developed a digital badge micro-certification program for 3D printing technicians. The badges are issued by the New Collar Network, an MIT Fab Lab organization that she co-founded in 2018. From 2018 to 2020, Boisvert consulted for the National Governors Association's “Future Workforce Now” project to develop a workforce policy toolkit for states.

She now works on the World Economic Forum “Augmented Worker” advisory board and most recently contributed to a white paper on the topic. In collaboration with Santa Fe Community College, Boisvert also founded the New Collar Innovation Center at the Santa Fe Higher Education Center in 2021 to foster innovation in lifelong learning, New Collar workforce training and the creation of 21st-century startups. She believes that the creativity is central to technology innovation and must be fostered throughout our lives.