Dear Fellow Staff—

I want to thank you for you diligence in following our “Safe In All Settings” protocols this week. We are definitely back on the wellness track! We are down to one outbreak home, and we have four staff that had tested positive and we expect most of them back, hopefully this week! This shows that safety works, so keep it up!

I would like to highlight our Business Services Department (BSD) this week. In July 2016 we formalized this service within NCIA. Prior to that, we were assisting our adults with disabilities in securing employment in an ad-hoc manner. We decided to make BSD its own department, put Vanessa Harrison in charge, and there has been no stopping her. She has done a remarkable job and we now have over 15 contracts with revenue topping $2.5 million annually. More importantly, we have close to 100 of our individuals with disabilities employed!

As previously mentioned, the month of October was recognized by The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) as National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which strives to recognize Employment First and disability employment.  We would like to recognize our team working on our Catonsville Courthouse contract. Not only were these essential workers featured in our “Capturing COVID” project, but also this week they welcomed Maryland Governor Larry Hogan into their building.

The Catonsville Courthouse is a 130,000 square ft. facility used to better meet the evolving needs of  Marylanders and support the continued growth of this community. After receiving this contract, NCIA’s Business Services Department has exceeded all expectations.  In their previous quarterly compliance inspection, the NCIA team was awarded a 100% satisfaction rating. Their supervisor commented, “due to COVID-19 and the need for ongoing contractual work, NCIA has been a big help going above and beyond their scope of work.”

At this week’s ribbon cutting ceremony, Governor Hogan was impressed with the building and all of the good work on display by the NCIA team.  We are proud to recognize Contract Supervisor Vernetta Coles, Job Coach Penelope McEachin, and all of the individuals who work on this contract including Gordon Mensah, Nerraw Johnson, Christopher Smith, Mikka Witherspoon, Angela Hicks, Kwanza Scott, Aaron Cook, and Arquesha Johnson.  Thank you for being part of our NCIA family and making us NCIA proud!

Our other NCIA programs continue to thrive, and one of the attributes we have at NCIA is that we can learn from the successes (and failures) within each program. An example of this is the challenges we are facing in our efforts to re-open our Youth In Transition School and our Career Development Center. Fortunately, we can look at the protocols used in our Vocational Training Centers and our Adult Services program. Our Compliance and H/R Departments have been excellent in developing procedures and safety measures in those programs which we can now share with our other departments. We truly have an outstanding leadership team guiding NCIA.

This Tuesday is Election Day, and we have been urging all NCIA employees to exercise their right to vote. I read a quote that stated “Voting is the expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country and this world”. So please get to the polls!

Have a safe week and keep up the great work.