Somerset Community College (SCC) has teamed up with a program that helps women recover from sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
The collaborative project teaches 3D printing at Refuge for Women in Lexington, Kentucky, for its small business called Survivor Made, which creates candles, leather goods and jewelry.
Taiber Glotz, 28, has gained new 3D printing skills and is a team leader in her job at Survivor Made. Glotz says learning new software and designing jewelry with 3D printing helped her discover her own talents and build a new life, strengthening her recovery from drug addiction and sexual abuse that began in childhood.
“I was eight years old, my sexual abuse, that’s when it started happening,” Glotz said. “I started using drugs at a really young age.”
She came to Refuge for Women two years ago through a court program that cleared her record of felony charges after the successfully completed the program.
She completed the one-year residential program, the one-year transitional program and now has moved into her own apartment.
Glotz says the 3D training has allowed her to recognize her talents and expand her computer skills by learning new software.
“I’m very mechanical. I’ve learned that about myself since becoming sober,” said Glotz. “For the past about four or five months, I’ve been learning the design aspect,” she said.
“Coming along with the 3D printers there’s a lot of software, so you have to learn all of that stuff. And I actually did create something.”
Glotz designed clay rollers used to create earrings and other jewelry. She created a design for a woman who has an Etsy store, and the woman used it to make clay earrings and sent a pair to Glotz. So she has jewelry she can wear that’s the result of her new 3D printing skills.
“Every time I learn something new I say, ‘This is awesome. It just keeps getting better’,” said Glotz.
She’s also working on designing a part for manufacturing candles that will make the process more efficient.
Glotz has a job as a team leader at Survivor Made and will be training other women in the program in the 3D printing skills.
Taiber is one of SCC’s participants as part of the Elevate Kentucky through Additive Manufacturing (EKAM) project.
This article was originally posted here.