March 20, 2020
Dear Fellow NCIA Staff:
I am writing to keep you informed of NCIA’s operations during this COVID-19 pandemic and to update you on actions NCIA has taken. This is an historic time in our nation, our communities and our personal lives. It is important that we all find ways to keep communication open and to maintain a positive attitude despite the challenges before us. The most important issue before us is staying healthy and follow the CDC guidelines. Stephen Cooke, our Communications Director, has done a great job in keeping our NCIA website current, so please look at that for COVID-19 updates and updated NCIA information.
As you probably know, we have had to completely close our YIT School and our Career Development Center. The Business Services team is still out on its contracts and remaining flexible to support the constant changing needs for the State of Maryland. We are doing everything possible to use all employees in our residential programs to keep staff working.. Our management team has been incredible at “thinking out of the box” and developing schedules to try to accommodate the needs of our staff and the needs of our individuals. Remember, we have a residential program with 47 homes supporting 115 people so we will never “close” regardless of what transpires. The people we support residentially rely on us and we will make sure that we support them.
Our Vocational Training Centers in Baltimore and Charlotte have also had to be creative. We had 115 individuals slated to begin this past Monday in Baltimore, and we had 45 individuals enrolled in the Charlotte program who had finished much of their coursework and were ready to go “hands-on”. Through their hard work and commitment to our students, our staff and leadership team worked day and night to develop distance-learning courses to keep them motivated.
I write this letter feeling both proud and humbled. I am proud because together we have developed an organization capable of getting through a crisis such as this. I am humbled because we at NCIA have developed a culture of caring, and it is evident to me during these challenging times that everyone is focused on the care of our clients and our staff.
Over our 43-year history NCIA has faced many challenges, and this is certainly one of them. Nevertheless, with all of us working together we will get through this.
Stay healthy and safe, and I look forward to the day we can celebrate the end of this pandemic.
Herbert J. Hoelter
Chief Executive Officer