I recently had an exchange on Facebook where I had to explain my stance on the shortage. For those that don’t know, the Speech-to-Text Institute has weaponized the shortage against stenographers, claiming it is impossible to solve or irreversible. Their statistics ignore the recruitment over the last decade and use the shortage to say that digital court reporting must be used. They also ignore that we have survived shortages before. Basically STTI is marketing for digital court reporting masquerading under the banner of supporting all three modalities of spoken word recordation.
What inevitably happens is that my nuanced stance on shortage gets lost. People see me speaking against the current industry paradigm and it confuses them. The reason for this confusion is simple. As of the Ducker Report, more than 50% of court reporting was estimated to be in California, Illinois, Texas, and New York. Those states all had a forecasted supply gap in the hundreds or thousands. Reporters that come from those states, possibly the majority of reporters, will be noticing the shortage more than other states.
I believe one additional way to solve our problem is to begin cross-state recruitment. My financial resources are tapped at the moment, but this is something any association or organization with some time and money could try. Basically, when Ducker came out, it told us some states would be facing surpluses, some states would be facing a one-digit supply gap as of 2018, some states would be facing two or three-digit supply gaps. Then California was in a league of its own, with a supply gap of over 2,000 predicted in California.
Stated another way, the states with bigger shortage concerns can begin a targeted campaign to bring reporters from states with smaller shortage concerns. I pledge to use Stenonymous to make announcements for any association that wants to put out a press release or post along those lines. I can also help with crafting a social media ad for an interested organization. I’ve built this thing out and I have readers in many states. Stenonymous is an avenue to get stenographic news out. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Consider the blog a resource for you.
Here is a list of the states and where they stood on the forecast. You can get this information from page 14 and onward of the Ducker Report.
Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Wyoming and Vermont.
Single Digit Supply Gap:
Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Rhode Island
Double Digit Supply Gap:
Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia.
Triple Digit Supply Gap:
Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin.
Quadruple digit gap:
California and the triple-digit states should make efforts to advertise to reporters in the surplus and one-digit states. Notably, some of those states have a very low overall forecasted supply. Going by the forecasted supply, it would make sense to prioritize recruiting from Florida (915), Louisiana (750), and Kentucky (330). Recruiting from Delaware, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Wyoming might not be viable because all of those states were forecasted to have a supply under 100 and very small surpluses. Obviously, the surplus states were not forecasted as having a large enough surplus to cover the shortage, so recruitment is still important, but a bit of migration might solve more immediate staffing needs.
Again, this particular idea cannot solve the shortage by itself. It is just one idea in the sea that is court reporting recruitment, and I hope sharing it helps spread ideas.