As we begin a new year – and a new decade – I hope you are engaged in meaningful work with heart and vision for the year ahead.
The start of 2020 marks one full year for me at North Bennet Street School, which gives me a unique vantage point: I'm new enough to retain my perspective from the "outside," but now also have an awareness of the School as an insider. This vantage point gives me a long-range view for NBSS, an opportunity to look to the School's future.
Early on, I learned that NBSS is sturdy and confident – a modest, but powerful force for craft and trades. Over the last year, I met countless students and alumni who demonstrate this through their work, commitment, and passion for what they do. NBSS has done a remarkable job training the next generation of crafts- and tradespeople, preparing them for meaningful lives and rewarding livelihoods.
It's clear the School has long been the antidote to any concern that craft and skilled trades are under threat, or that these intelligences are undervalued or overlooked. Instead, NBSS is proof that good, smart work has relevance for individuals and impact for communities. Looking ahead, I see us as perfectly poised to develop the whole ecosystem of craft and trade, to nourish the interrelated networks of our disciplines, with a vision for what we want our fields to be.
Looking ahead, I see us as perfectly poised to develop the whole ecosystem of craft and trade, to nourish the interrelated networks of our disciplines, with a vision for what we want our fields to be.
How will we do this? As we continue to teach and train for employment, we will educate the next wave of instructors and mentors, developing a diverse pool of leaders for our fields. We will train business owners, employers, and entrepreneurs in craft and skilled trades—those who take the efforts of individuals further. We will cultivate clients and partners, while engaging new philanthropic supporters. We will convene thought leaders and advocates, providing a platform for cultural conversations about craft and trade. We'll do all of this across both existing programs and new efforts and we'll reach locally, nationally, and internationally.
NBSS has been an integral part of the community since 1881, contributing to our city, region, and beyond. As we step into a new decade, the School will continue to be a leader in building diverse and inclusive disciplines, aware of the many roles it takes for fields to flourish. In 2020 – and stretching into the new decade – we'll develop these efforts as we always have: with steady, daily work, talented students, strong partners, and the optimism that comes from making things both practical and possible.
I look forward to staying in touch in the New Year. As an essential member of our community of crafts- and tradespeople – and the broader ecosystem of our interrelated fields – I hope you'll join NBSS in these ambitious endeavors.