Martha Baker, former NEW Executive Director, reflects on her time at NEW

Martha Baker, Martha Baker Consulting LLC.

When did you first get involved with Nontraditional Employment for Women?
Direct involvement began in Jan. 1995 when I agreed to be the Executive Director. In prior years I supported the acquisition of the Fire House for our home.

What was your role with NEW?
I was Executive Director/CEO.

What do you believe was your greatest accomplishment at NEW?
I saved it from closing by revamping all funding, attracting new funding, increasing support and rebuilding staff.

What is your best memory from your experiences with NEW?
Every graduation was a special memory. The domestic violence survivors and the formerly homeless classes were most unique.

How has NEW changed over the years?
Increased support from the industry.

Who in the NEW community, student, staff member, etc., has inspired you the most?
The women students who try to balance their lives by raising families while furthering their own education and skill level -- against all the odds that are placed in their path.

What was your biggest challenge while working with NEW? How have NEW's challenges changed over the years?
Restructuring debt while increasing program funding during a period when women had less access to training due to workfare. Now there is a greater realization that post secondary training is a key component to stable, well-paid employment.

How would you describe the success of tradeswomen today?
There is a growing acceptance of women in the industry, with some women achieving supervisory roles in their unions.