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The importance of membership

NCRA’s Membership Committee, chaired by Margary Rogers, RPR, CRI, is charged with developing and creating campaigns and initiatives throughout the year that promote membership retention, renewal, and recruitment. Members collaborate with staff and other NCRA volunteers to get the word out about the benefits of membership. They have recently started a private Facebook group, NCRA Membership Matters, for members to share positivity and build a community. In addition, in the spirit of giving back, the Membership Committee is sponsoring the 2022 dues for a number of students. This article is one in an occasional series in which committee members share what membership means to them.

By Shaunise Day

One of my top reasons for supporting and having a membership with NCRA is because we are recognized on a national level. At times like these, every member within the steno community should support their state and national associations by keeping their current membership or renewing their existing membership. For me, when it’s time to promote steno and when I get on the phone with schools, counselors, or an organization, it feels good to say: “Hello, I am a member of the National Court Reporters Association, and I would like to tell you about a career fair that I will be hosting to promote our profession.” When you are promoting the profession to an audience that is not aware of what court reporting is, you literally have 45 seconds to engage the listener.

I had the opportunity to learn how to lobby for the profession on Capitol Hill at the 2019 NCRA Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp. NCRA put us through an intensive Boot Camp training and prepped us on how to lobby on Capitol Hill and tell any lawmakers we had a meeting with why they should stand behind our profession and support the Training for Realtime Writers Grant. Without this training through our national Association, I don’t think I could have gone to Capitol Hill alone and spoken with lawmakers about grant programs for the profession. At a time like this, I would like to encourage you to become members of your state and national associations. We are about to go through a season where other methods will try to insert themselves into our profession, and it’s happening on a state level. When you have non-steno organizations or methods contacting bar associations to advise that steno is dealing with a shortage and that other methods can be an option, now is the prime opportunity to get behind your associations.

Do I always agree with changes that are being made within our Association? Absolutely not. However, I am all about solutions, and if there is something that I would like to see a change in, I am quick to join a committee to serve and share ways on how to make the profession better.

To close, I would like to remind you of a few other benefits of NCRA membership. We have our NCRA A to Z® Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand program; as I mentioned above, the NCRA Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp training; the NCRA PROLink professional directory; the NCRF Career Launcher program for new professionals; access to affordable insurance carriers like Mercer; continuing education through the NCRA Learning Center; the opportunity to conveniently test multiple times a year; and a host of networking events.

Without NCRA, I would not have made new connections and friends who are now family; my website and podcast probably would not exist, nor the opportunities to promote our profession through live and online career fairs. I am grateful and proud to be a member of my national and state associations. When we are steno strong, steno united and not divided, that makes us unstoppable. We are the gold standard for capturing the record. It’s time to stand your steno ground and do whatever it takes professionally to save and protect our profession.

NCRA membership and you:  
Renew your membership
Become an NCRA member
Give the gift for NCRA membership
-Join the NCRA Membership Matters Facebook group  

Shaunise Day lives in Oakland, Calif., and is a student at West Valley College in Saratoga, Calif. Her firm, Steno in the City, promotes the profession, and she also hosts a steno podcast, Confessions of a Stenographer. Day can be reached at info@stenointhecity.com.

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