It has been a difficult year and a half—one none of us wants to live through again. Now it is time to take stock of the short and long term impacts the pandemic has had on us, our families, our businesses, and our employees and chart a plan. Where do we go from here?

To examine what we need to do SB invited eleven business leaders to share how they got through COVID, what changes it has brought about in their businesses and their plans for a successful future.

We broke the discussions into five categories: Healthcare, Education, Workforce, Arts & Activities, and Risk Assessment and Management. In each discussion there were painful reminders of just how difficult these months have been, but also a confidence that the future is bright and we will prevail.

In addition to our dynamic discussions, this issue of SB introduces you to our monthly Insight feature, Michelle Friedman, the Director of Career & Technical Education at CV-TEC/BOCES. Michelle’s commitment to opportunities for North Country students and her obvious dedication to her profession is an inspiration. Don’t miss her interview.

John Bernardi, president and CEO of the United Way of the Adirondack Region, offers a thoughtful view of the very personal issues facing our workforce. At a time when many employers are struggling to fill openings, he points out some of the issues that limit participation in the job market and offers suggestions on how businesses might overcome some of them.

Colin Read writes about infrastructure—what it was historically and what it is in the 21st century.

And then Garry Douglas wraps up this issue with his thoughts on the border closure that has frustrated residents across the North Country and across the country.

Being able to navigate and leverage the future of our work is critical for business success. Make no mistake, the future is not just about data, technology, robots, and artificial intelligence. It is about us—our people, our ideas, our ability to think outside the box, our willingness to do whatever is necessary. If we do…

…that will be good for business.