Expanding Horizons

December 7, 2023
As we look to the future, and with our Strategic Plan as a guide, we set our sights on deepening, broadening, and enfranchising our community.

An Essential Place

Throughout its long history, NBSS has been a welcoming place of optimism and purpose for generations of individuals, families, and communities. Today, we are contending with new challenges and opportunities in an era of significant social change. Whether that of an educational divide that emphasizes college over skilled-training, developing meaningful pathways for spatial/visual thinkers, the shortage of crafts- and tradespeople across industries, or the powerful emotional and practical benefits of tangible work. In all of this, there are few contemporary quandaries of work, education, and community that aren’t addressed by the unique intelligence that NBSS offers.

As we look to the future, and with our FY23-FY28 Strategic Plan as a guide, we set our sights on deepening, broadening, and enfranchising our community:

  • Increase Access & Inclusion: We will expand our current programs and classes, develop youth and community programs, and increase access and inclusion in order to further our mission.
  • Invest in Student Success: We will increase support for both teaching and learning, ensuring our reputation for excellence and investing in student success from application to employment.
  • Build a Thriving Future: We will invest in the people who work here, our building, and our organizational culture to maintain a position of strength and build a thriving future for the whole of our School community.
“There are few contemporary quandaries of work, education, and community that aren’t addressed by the unique intelligence that NBSS offers.”
Sarah Turner, President

Our Path to Progress

Since adopting our current Strategic Plan in December 2022, we have already made progress on a number of key initiatives:

  • Established a Teaching Assistant (TA) program, bringing new talents and perspectives to our Career Training programs. These individuals will support our students and faculty, and are the next generation of educators, mentors, and tradespeople for their industries.
  • Relaunched Continuing Education as Community Education, rebuilding to over 230 classes and almost 1600 participants in the last two years. This work coincided with increases in CE class tuition and volume, as well as maximized space use to increase revenue and improve profit margins.
  • Filled the open CE Director position to provide increased experience and leadership in adult and youth programs, and hired a CE Administrative Assistant/Programs Coordinator position to support the expansion of CE across high school programs and community partnerships.
  • Developed and filled an essential new role, Senior Director of People & Resources, to lead in the areas of faculty/staff support, human resources, operational strength and leadership in our and DEI efforts.
  • Completed a faculty/staff compensation analysis, increased salaries, and developed a multi-year plan for growth in this area, helping us to retain and recruit talented professionals that serve our core community of students.
  • Invested in student and faculty support in the areas of professional development, hardships, accommodations, and inclusive learning environments. 
  • Identified a School-wide database to support the work of Recruitment, Admissions, Enrollment, Marketing/Communications, Development, and the Registrar.
  • Engaged faculty and staff to develop implementation approaches to move our strategies forward across the School. This included a number of listening sessions, individual conversations, and feedback surveys that resulted in the strong plan our Board ratified in December 2022.

Achieving Our Vision

To achieve this next chapter will require collaboration at all levels, and within a rich ecosystem of educational and training offerings, craft- and trade industries, and local, regional, and national communities. In short, this work must be done with others: employers who provide internships and serve as partners in workforce development; like-minded schools and organizations that cultivate and support student achievements; and a philanthropic network of individuals and foundations who help us build and strengthen connections, expand our reach, sustain our foundation, and catalyze new efforts. 

We invite you to join us in this critical moment as we embrace expanded horizons, helping to fulfill our School’s promise for one and all.

To learn more about our FY23–FY28 Strategic Plan, our key achievements, and how you can help further our mission, please contact Colleen Walsh Powell, Director of Development, at cwpowell@nbss.edu or 617.227.0155. More information can be found at nbss.edu/strategic-plan.

Expanding Horizons

From a strong and resilient position, NBSS is ready to expand its reach to a broader and more diverse group of craftspeople and tradespeople. Join us as we embrace expanded horizons, to deliver on our School’s unique potential, further our important mission, and fulfill our promise for one and all.