What an honor it is to be your 107th NCRA President

As professionals, we continually pursue the path of greatness. We strive to perfect our skills and pursue additional credentials. We are always improving ourselves. We embrace new technology and progress forward in serving new markets. We are a timeless and ageless profession walking boldly into the future.

NCRA is proceeding in its execution of a powerful five-year plan, Vision 2018, which focuses on key issues and opportunities in the stenographic court reporting profession. We are prepared to go into the marketplace and tell today’s generation why court reporting is a career worthy of their time and consideration. The livelihood of our profession is dependent on our ability to resonate with potential students, and I am confident that we are going to make an impact with our efforts.

If you think back to the late-1990s and early-2000s, you may recall that headlines screamed of an immediate nursing shortage. The timing was ideal. The economy suffered after 9/11, and young people were concerned about securing full-time employment after college. The nursing profession took advantage of these conditions to talk about its unfilled need and assured the public that plenty of nursing jobs awaited those who received the necessary training. As a result, many pursued nursing degrees, despite the fact that nursing is a challenging career! Because of the potential for financial success and practically guaranteed job placement, parents across the country were more than happy to support their children’s decision to pursue nursing.

Let’s turn those headlines in our direction. The stenographic court reporting profession is facing a shortage as well. The independently produced Industry Outlook Report offers a startling look at what could happen if we do not produce enough skilled court reporters in just a few short years. It’s as simple as this: The demand for court reporting services will soon exceed what the current pool of court reporters can provide. There is demand for more court reporters. Our profession is not on life support. Our profession is strong. We can guarantee job placement and financial wellbeing for those who consider court reporting as a profession. And this is good news.

In fact, this may be the best news we have received in a long time.

We can prove to today’s parents that court reporting is a profession that their children should pursue. We belong to a profession that demands a closer look. We have something amazing to offer, and at just the right time, too. Traditional college degrees are expensive and don’t necessarily guarantee job placement. Millennials are seeking careers with flexibility and the opportunity to grow and learn something new every day. Most notably, they are fully equipped to be the technological leaders of the future workplace. It seems to me that court reporting is the perfect answer.

What we are going to do is launch a national campaign to put stenographic court reporting in the spotlight. It’s going to be shining bright on us in the months and years ahead. We are going to get more students into schools. We are going to work with our court reporting programs like never before in order to get more students out of those schools. This path ahead does bring challenges. It’s not going to happen overnight, and we have a lot of catching up to do, but I know we are heading in the right direction. [Ed. Note: More info on this project can be found here and in future issues of the JCR. Or visit crTakeNote.com for more details.]

I look forward to our paths crossing because together, we can guarantee our future shines bright. This is our time!

 

Sarah E. Nageotte, RDR, CRR, CBC, is NCRA’s President. She can be reached at president@ncra.org. This column is adapted from her presidential speech given during NCRA’s 2014 Convention & Expo in San Francisco, Calif.