Northwoods court reporters training next generation through free classes

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyA Nov. 8 story on WJFW Newswatch 12 (Rhinelander, Wis.) highlights an A to Z program at the Oneida County Courthouse. The story quotes Jean Wood, RMR, CRR, an official in Lake Tomahawk, and NCRA President Chris Willette, RDR, CRR, CRC, a freelancer and firm owner in Wausau, as well as a couple of participants in the program.

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Donate your old machine and case to the A to Z Program

"Donate your machine for the A to Z Program" -- Four different models of steno machines

The A to Z Program offers participants the opportunity to learn the basics about court reporting in a six-to-eight week introduction to machine shorthand program.

You can assist the next generation of court reporters and captioners.

There is a great need for used steno machines, chargers, AC adapters, paper trays, ribbons, tripods, cases, etc. If you have these items, the A to Z Program is looking for donations and loans to programs in your state or local area.

Stylized image of a hand holding a steno machine -- white outline on a purple backgroundDonate or loan your steno machine

You do not need to ship your machine or any other items at this time. You will be contacted when your items are needed. We ask that everything you donate is in good working order and has been cleaned. This is an introduction to our profession, and we’d like the experience to be a positive one.

Complete this form and NCRA’s Education Department will add your name and items to the database. When needed, you will be contacted by a local A to Z Program leader.

Are you interested in leading an A to Z Program?

A to Z Program leaders work with small groups of participants as they learn how to write the alphabet and numbers in steno. This program does not follow any particular theory. Program leaders receive free training materials after completing and submitting a program leader Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). For more information, view the A to Z webinar and read the frequently asked questions.

NCRA member in local media for A to Z program

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyGood Morning Rochester, Rochester, N.Y., aired a piece on Sept. 19 that featured NCRA Director Meredith A. Bonn, RPR, an official court reporter from Webster. The story highlighted what Bonn does as well as emphasized the current need for court reporters and captioners. A second story that also featured Bonn provided insight into what it takes to enter the profession and included information about the A to Z programs she leads in her area.

Oneida County court reporter holding free class to raise more interest in field

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyOn Sept. 14, WJFW Newswatch 12, Rhinelander, Wis., ran a story about the A to Z Program sessions that NCRA member Lynn Penfield, RPR, CRR, is running. According to the article, “Anyone in the Northwoods who is interested in learning more about court reporting can sign up, although you should at least be a junior or senior in high school.” Sessions begin Oct. 17, and the article includes information to sign up. Penfield, who is an official in Harshaw, is running the program because she “considers [court reporting] the best job she’s ever had, and she wants to get more people interested in her field.”

This is not Penfield’s first experience with her local media. In 2016, she was featured in a piece about court reporting on WHFW-Channel 12, and in 2017, she was presented with a proclamation signed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker during Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

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Court reporting makes list of top 10 best jobs

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyOn July 11, Insider Monkey published a list of “10 High Paying Non Customer Service Jobs Without a Degree.” The list ranked court reporting as number 7 on the list, which also included media and communication equipment workers, hearing-aid specialists, and claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators.

The article, which quoted a paper on the rising cost of college education by Ronald Ehrenberg of Cornell University, explained that tuition for some colleges have increased annually about 2 percent more than inflation.

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Courts fear effects of stenographer shortage

jcr-publications_high-resThe Daily Item, Sunbury, Pa., reported on Feb. 13 that Susquehanna Valley courtrooms are bucking a nationwide shortage of court reporters, which is expected to peak in 2018.

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NCRA launches DiscoverSteno initiative

DiscoverSteno_logo_webIn conjunction with 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week, NCRA has announced the launch of DiscoverSteno, a multi-pronged Web-based initiative that offers anyone interested the opportunity to explore, consider, and learn more about a career in court reporting or captioning.

“Court reporting and captioning are professions that so often fall under the radar when someone is looking for an exciting and flexible career option,” said NCRA President Tiva Wood, RDR, CMRS, a freelance court reporter from Mechanicsburg, Pa.

“DiscoverSteno is aimed at pushing awareness about these career fields above the radar, especially for high school students, career changers, veterans seeking to re-enter the workforce, and even college students who find their major course of studies is not what they expected it to be. Those who choose a career in court reporting or captioning very often enter the workforce quicker than those who take the traditional college path and oftentimes at less cost,” she added.

NCRA’s DiscoverSteno initiative comprises several components designed to provide visitors to the site a comprehensive overview of court reporting and captioning as a viable and rewarding career. Among the sections is ExploreSteno, which offers a series of short modules including testimonials from current students and working professionals, the history of stenography, how it works, and what it feels like to write it.

By clicking on ConsiderSteno, visitors to the DiscoverSteno site can take an interest survey to find out if they possess traits similar to those of a successful court reporter or captioner.

For visitors interested in learning the basics of writing in steno, LearnSteno lets them contact NCRA to find out how they can participate in a free, six-to-eight week A to Z Intro to Machine Shorthand program either in their area or online.

Developed by Nancy Varallo, RDR, CRR, Worcester, Mass., a past NCRA President and longtime court reporter and firm owner, the introductory program offers the perfect opportunity for participants to learn the alphabet in steno, write on a real machine, and decide if pursuing an education in court reporting or captioning is the right choice. Working professionals will lead the A to Z program in their offices.

“The A to Z Intro to Machine Shorthand program not only provides participants the opportunity to immerse themselves in learning the basics of steno writing at no cost, but it also provides NCRA members an easy and fun way to share what they do and why they love what they do with potential future professionals,” said Varallo. “The program is structured to allow A to Z leaders to really highlight the benefits of the profession and perhaps become a mentor to a future colleague.”

Visitors to the DiscoverSteno site can also get a firsthand look at the venues in which court reporters and captioners work by clicking on WatchSteno. The video features real professionals sharing why they love the profession. In addition, they can contact NCRA to learn more about its certified schools and their programs.

“NCRA is excited to launch the DiscoverSteno initiative and is committed to the future growth of the court reporting and captioning professions,” said Mike Nelson, CAE, CEO and Executive Director of NCRA. “DiscoverSteno is designed to help educate those interested in one of these career paths to learn more about the field, job opportunities, test their aptitude, and have the resources such as finding the right court reporting and captioning program at their fingertips.”