Dear Fellow Staff:

Week 21 of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us and NCIA continues to move forward. I am pleased to report that of the three staff who had tested positive in last week’s report, two have returned to work and the third is due to come back this week. We did have one more staff test positive but is asymptomatic and has been on leave since August 1, 2020, hoping to return this week. Please keep up the great work keeping your family, and our NCIA family, safe and healthy.

On that note, please make sure and read the updated Safe In All Settings email sent out last Friday morning regarding new protocols for our Administrative Building. We are reviewing our re-opening progress on a monthly basis, and we have now made some changes regarding picking up supplies, meetings and other safety measures. Stephen Cooke (Communications) and Sophia Lawson (Compliance) are working diligently to monitor our progress and revise our protocols as we continue to move forward. Our procedures really are working–so please keep wearing your masks, keep washing your hands and maintain social distancing.

Our administrative team has been hard at work the past couple of weeks developing our NCIA program operations plans for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. This is normally done by June 30, 2020, but, as with everything else, COVID-19 threw a wrench in that timetable. We are confident we have a good “game plan” for the upcoming year, but we also realize that it may need adjustment as time (and the virus) goes on. We are extremely fortunate to have a leadership team that is not only bright, energetic and talented, but is also flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances. That is the nature of NCIA, and one of the reasons we are in our 44th year of operation.

Our Fiscal Department is also incredibly busy. It’s “Audit Time” and our CFO Yong Kim and her team are preparing all the required material for our annual fiscal audit. For the past decade we have been fortunate to have one of the best firms in Baltimore, Ellin &Tucker, conduct an independent audit. The process is extremely detailed and our fiscal department is incredibly prepared. As one might expect, audits are an important factor as our funding agencies review them in their evaluation of NCIA.

Especially with ongoing COVID-19 issues, we will continue to face many challenges. With the ingenuity of our staff and leadership, we will develop solutions. Unlike many agencies, we have kept our doors open throughout this pandemic and have many “lessons learned” from the past five months. We continue to progress in our distance learning solutions, adapting them for our YIT School, our VTC Centers and our adult programs. We are really fortunate to be able to cross pollinate what we learn from each of our programs.

The most important thing moving forward is to maintain your health — and the health of those whose lives you touch. Hippocrates, known as the “Father of Medicine”, once said “A wise person should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings…” On a recent program call, our Culinary Instructor in the Baltimore VTC program put it more succinctly: “Health is Wealth.”

So let’s stay healthy and look forward to our continued growth together.

With continued thanks—

Herb Hoelter

Chief Executive Officer