In the recent election, the budget and federal government funding of education were almost as highly debated as Romney’s binders and Obama’s cheer factor. The country and the parties were more polarized than a pair of Oakleys on the domestic issues at hand, but no one ventured to argue that education is not important. Throughout the mudslinging, flip-flopping and pandering, it remained clear that the country as a whole believes in the value and power of education and the impact it has on future generations.
No matter which party is in power or how funding is allocated, there will always be people in the world that believe passionately in the value of education and who will dedicate themselves to making it accessible and affordable to their communities. In recent weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know one of these gentleman. James Barry works for the 32BJ Benefit Fund in NYC as the Manager of Program Development. He is currently running a series of courses focused on Technology in the Real Estate space.
Reviewing the schedule of events with him, it was amazing to see all the different ways in which technology could be used to improve workflows and help building owners and managers gain visibility and efficiency in so many aspects of their business. From the technician in the field and the manager on the floor, to the security guard in the lobby and the owner in the boardroom, technology is often the unseen component of building operations – but the desire to learn more about it is palpable.
Working for a private company, it is easy to become narrowly focused – focused on the people who buy and use your product. It’s kind of like election goggles. You become focused on solving specific and immediate problems, cutting costs and applying technology to real world situations – things with tangible and foreseeable results. I was lucky enough that James decided to incorporate the product that I support (Building Engines) into the curriculum, giving me the opportunity to watch people interact and learn about my product from a purely educational standpoint. Education for the sake of knowledge is pure and refreshing in this day in age – a great process to have been able to participate in.