It's no secret that the court reporting industry is facing some major challenges in the form of increasing demand, competing technologies, and the lack of qualified workers. While the NCRA's Take Note campaign launched more than a year ago, we're all still on the edge of our seats waiting for the "We Did It!" moment.
NCRA President Claims Success
In July of this year, we did receive a vague and ambiguous victory cheer in the form of a letter from the President of the NCRA, Sarah E. Nageotte, but no numbers or measurements could be found to back her claims of "[garnering] more awareness."
Instead, what we found was that the NCRA has replaced their CEO and Executive Director and has sold their headquarters for a "contemporary and customized new location." Now I can't say for sure, but Regus also leases space at the same location. Could the NCRA have downsized all the way from a brick and mortar to a virtual office? Times must be tough for the NCRA.
Show Us the Numbers
But after a year of media pushes like NCRA's spot on Fox Business News, the Take Note campaign has yet to see any of the benefits that it promised this time last year, at least by gauging the woes of scheduling managers. Have school enrollments increased? When can we expect to see the fruits of the campaign? Two years? Three? Four?
In all honesty, I feel sorry for Ms. Nageotte. Without getting too political, I'd say she suffers from Obama Syndrome, otherwise defined as an inheritance of a colossal mess with the goal of somehow turning the tides.
The Ducker Report claimed that the 5500 "opportunities" (not to be confused with 'shortages') would become available up through 2017. The reality of the situation is that even if Ms. Nageotte was able to muster up a wildly successful awareness campaign, it would still take students at minimum two to four years to attempt court reporting school (which are becoming fewer and farther between).
Yet the NCRA still refuses to recognize alternative methods of court reporting. I think it's worth noting that next to establishing "greater awareness and opportunities for reporting, captioning, and CART services" the number two goal of the new CEO and Executive Director of the NCRA is sheer survival.
Perhaps it's time for the NCRA to take a look at the bigger picture and focus on the record instead of the method.