Obviously, this goes up during the COVID-19 outbreak, and many of my colleagues or their families are impacted health-wise or economically. It’s serious stuff. Some of us have lost people or been in danger of losing people. This is a time when mostly everything has slowed down, and for many it may not feel like there is an end in sight. That said, I assure you there is an end in sight, and when this is all over, we’re going to need to pick up the pieces, move forward, and help each other move forward.
There’s a lot of fear and a disruption in our normal lives. So to keep with some semblance of normality, I’m going to move forward with a jobs post. Keep in mind that with this outbreak, many places are running on a skeleton crew, so they may not be actually hiring right now, but when things start to speed up again, stenographic reporters are needed all over the city, state, and country. They’re needed outside the country too, but I’ll let the experts handle that. Remember that if you’re a student or a newer reporter, there are also programs out there designed to find you a mentor. Mentors are no doubt having difficulties too, but they may be able to offer advice or ideas nonetheless.
Running along, NCRA has a good number of job listings up for reporters. They’re also looking for a certification & testing program manager. I know here in New York we have some reporters who are extremely gifted and passionate about certification and testing, so if that’s something you think you’d put down the machine for, take a look. Looking at the federal judiciary jobs page, there are openings in New York, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Iowa, Missouri, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Federal courts all over the country want stenographic court reporters.
The NYS statewide provisional court reporter application remains open to anyone with the guts to step up and give reporting for the state judiciary a chance. The courts in this state need people that care about the record and want to do a good job. If you’re looking for a steady job with paid time off, this is a first foot in the door while we wait for the civil service exam together. Before this outbreak and mess, I had a brief e-mail exchange with Michael DeVito, whose contact information is on the bottom of that application. Paraphrasing what he said, any employment prospects are encouraged to contact him. You have someone in the system to reach out to in addition to the unions that represent New York City court reporters and senior court reporters.
Try to remain positive. I know there has been a marked drop in freelance work. You are not alone. At the beginning of this, several of NYSCRA’s officers and board members, Joshua Edwards, Diane Salters, Karen Santucci, and Dominick Tursi, got together to show our community an example of a remote deposition. The full video is available. Many members asked additional questions, which I tried to address via this video, and wrote some more information in the description box. If you’re a NYSCRA member or a potential member, don’t be afraid to send e-mails to board members. We can’t wave a magic wand and make everything better, but we can try to use the association’s resources that we all pay into in a responsible way. Remember that you are integral to those resources, and that even if you can’t get a membership right now, you can still throw in support later when work starts booming again. And we are not alone. Many state associations, and the NCRA, have been promoting ways to get reporters back to earning a living for themselves and their family. Many reporters have independently taken the time to host webinars or put up videos to help each other. Many CAT trainers are scheduling remote appointments to help people with their software. As an example, I personally follow Dineen Squillante and Anthony Frisolone. Some help is free, some help is for fee, and the bottom line is that we’re going to get through this together.