If you’re anything like me, the past year of the pandemic has left your ears well-tuned for listening.

Podcast consumption doubled on the nascent Spotify platform in the height of the pandemic. America’s essential workforce, driving from destination to destination while everyone else was stuck at home, is responsible for much of this growth.

As SNIPS’ new editor-in-chief, I’m stepping into a legacy forged by Emell Derra Adolphus and the editors that served before him. We are continuing a transition from print to digital that’s been a year in the making. We’re announcing two new podcast and video series that harness the full features of our eMagazine and open doorways to new stories.

Tin Knocker Tales. Veteran sheet metal workers and industry icons share stories from their careers.

Sheet Metal Career Podcast. Education and career paths in the sheet metal industry.

As I head the production of these series and edit stories for our digital magazine, I bring with me experience from the agricultural industry, having served as field editor for the longest continually published print magazine in North America, Prairie Farmer. Prior to this, I was the media specialist for University of Illinois’ supercomputing center in Urbana, Ill.

At one point in my career, I watched an AARP Magazine carrying my byline come off the printing line at the RR Donnelly in my hometown of Mattoon, Ill. That factory is now shuttered, closing shop before COVID-19 reared its head and caused media companies around the world to end or reduce print production. At 27, I’m young, but I’ve lived long enough to see the world transition far more quickly than I could have ever imagined when I grabbed my first stack of black and white high school newspapers.

Of course, my industry isn’t the only one weathering seismic changes. The sheet metal and HVAC workers I’ve interacted with so far have dozens of different topics to talk about, from the impact of HVAC systems on the spread of viruses, to where the market for base metals is heading given overwhelming demand in a post-COVID-19 world. Apprenticing the next generation of sheet metal workers is also front-of-mind.

I look forward to growing my appreciation for markets while at the same time developing a better understanding for the tools and issues in this trade. As readers and viewers, you’ll be taking this journey with me. But I’ll have plenty of help from our editorial board and seasoned SNIPS freelancers too.

As the media industry transitions to digital, my utmost responsibility will be to continue SNIPS’ rich tradition of providing unparalleled service to our reader and viewership. The medium – be it audio, words on a webpage or video – is secondary to ensuring we provide the most valuable information possible to our audience.

Join me in this journey at snipsmag.com.

Share your thoughts on this column at snipsmag.com. To contact any SNIPS editor or writer, please send an email to keatinga@bnpmedia.com.