September 13, 2020
Dear Fellow Employees,
Congratulations! We did it! We got through the Labor Day holiday weekend with no COVID-19 cases, all of our homes are clear and all but two of our staff are back at work. Please congratulate yourself, your families and your fellow staff members—and keep it up! Also, please remember that our Safe In All Settings has a “buddy system” protocol to remind your coworkers of each safety step. If you see someone not wearing their mask, not covering their nose, or not social distancing please be their “buddy” and remind them to stay safe. Our protocols are really working.
Our Communication Specialist, Stephen Cooke, has initiated a “Capturing COVID” project. He has arranged for each NCIA program to be professionally photographed before the end of the month to showcase all the great things (and challenges) we have accomplished during this pandemic. This includes our Residential Homes, Business Services Department, Youth In Transition School and our HJH Vocational Training Centers. You should all be proud that we have continued our services and kept our doors open throughout this pandemic. Be sure to look for photos and updates on NCIA’s social media accounts.
We are still working diligently at developing our “meaningful day” program so that all of our adult clients who attended our Career Development Center are getting services in their residential homes. We have been implementing our day program in NCIA homes, and continue to develop programs for those who live with other providers. We are bringing on additional resources to further develop our meaningful day program.
Our YIT School has started their new virtual learning curriculum using Chromebooks we distributed to every student. It certainly presents a new set of technical challenges, but our teachers, staff and technical support team are incredibly resilient and, as with all of our programs, are adapting as we move forward.
One of the major highlights this week was the “Completion Ceremony” for over 60 students in our Baltimore HJH Vocational Training Center. Using our safety protocols, we were able to graduate students in both morning and afternoon sessions. Students received their certifications in Culinary Arts, Automotive Repair, HVAC Repair and Class B Commercial Driver’s License. We were honored to have the Undersecretary of the United States Agriculture Department (USDA) as our keynote speaker. The event was covered by the Baltimore Sun newspaper as well as ABC news.
In closing, I implore you to keep following safe practices. We cannot relax our standards. You owe it to yourself, your families and our clients and students to keep up the great work in following our protocols—we have successfully managed through almost six months so far, but we still have a long journey ahead of us. We can do this together!
With continued gratitude—
Herb Hoelter, CEO
Chief Executive Officer