Kendall Square welcomed its newest addition on Wednesday, June 5, with the grand opening of The Link. A partnership between the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (CRA), Boston Properties (BXP), and TSNE, The Link is a coworking, training, and event space catalyzing workforce development and employment opportunities in Kendall Square and beyond with a mission to provide a space of opportunity for residents and employers to network, learn, and connect.
The grand opening celebration welcomed members of the nonprofit, tech, and public sectors to view the newly remodeled office located on the 8th floor of 255 Main Street.
“When [the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority] sat down with Boston Properties to find out what we meant by creating 'below market innovation space', we wrestled with the idea of how to create a model for commercial space in Kendall Square that would be as impactful as possible,” said Tom Evans, executive director of the CRA. “We want to make the connection between the residents of Boston and Cambridge and the business community in Kendall Square. The Link fills the gaps between workforce development and employers.”
The Link is part of the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority’s long-term Urban Renewal Plan for Kendall Square in partnership with Boston Properties, and has been in the works for nearly three years.
“This is great way to end a project, but more importantly, this is a great beginning,” said Mike Tilford, senior project manager at Boston Properties. “This is where the CRA, TSNE, Per Scholas, Open Agriculture Initiative, and soon more nonprofits will open the doors of opportunity to the world’s most dynamic employers located all around us through the power of education and their expertise.”
Moving forward, TSNE will operate The Link. Faisal Abid, TSNE’ property services manager encouraged attendees at the event to help activate the mission of The Link saying, “I invite you to bring your friends here, bring your colleagues. I invite you to gather here, work here, and host events here. We want to create a community of people invested in this space and its mission to help us connect everyone, regardless of their background, to all the great innovation that is taking place in Kendall Square.”
The Link’s first tenant and collaborator is Per Scholas, a national nonprofit just expanding into Greater Boston. Per Scholas offers tuition free tech training and professional development opportunities to students in traditionally overlooked communities. “We are thrilled to be one of the first partners, collaborators and tenants of The Link,” said Robin Nadeau, managing director of Per Scholas Greater Boston. “This is a place where people realize and are committed to creating a space that links talent and mission-oriented organizations to collaborate and connect with the wonderful companies that exist in the nexus of the tech industry in Kendall Square.” Per Scholas Greater Boston will be celebrating the graduation of their first class of students on June 25.
None of this would have been possible without the great support of the City of Cambridge. In attendance was Ellen Semonoff, Assistant City Manager of Human Services. “The Department of Human Services does a lot of work in the workforce development area and we are very excited for this opportunity to provide more chances for our residents to find homes in Kendall Square and beyond, and I think this space offers that opportunity,” she said.
Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern, whose family has deep roots in the city for nearly a century, remarked on the need for spaces like The Link and the great work that can be accomplished when sectors work together. “When I think of Cambridge, I think of us having four major pillars. One being the community and the government, one being our universities, one being our nonprofits, and one being our business industry. We all do incredible work on our own, but we are never better and never stronger then when we come together and support the community that surrounds us and that’s what The Link is all about.”
Learn more about how you can work, gather, and visit The Link at link-kendall.org.