September 6, 2020

Dear Fellow Staff—

Congratulations! We did it together! All NCIA houses are off quarantine, we had no new COVID cases this week and as of this Monday almost all of our staff who had tested positive are returning to work. So thank you for your diligence in following our “Safe In All Settings” protocols. They really do work.

Having said that, this weekend is going to be a challenging time as it is traditionally a time to be with family and friends, have cookouts and celebrate the end of summer. I really encourage you to be extra diligent during this time and continue to wear your masks, wash your hands frequently and socially distance yourself from others. As one expert stated, “COVID-19 is not taking a Holiday break.” It will certainly be difficult, but we must do it for our own health, and that of our families and the individuals we serve.

School is back! As I have been telling you, our YIT School has presented us with some our most challenging tasks. Those of you who have children learning from home know exactly what I am talking about, but multiply those challenges by ten and you have our YIT students. Nevertheless, our YIT staff have been truly amazing! Lindsey Cookson, our Academic Coordinator, reported that our teachers are incredibly excited about being able to reconnect with their students with their new Chromebooks, and the teamwork of our academic coaches, social workers and leadership is a joy to watch.

Additionally, please join me in congratulating our YIT Clinical Director, Jennifer Hance, for completing her Doctoral Degree in Social Work. She completed her degree on-line from the University of Southern California. Her dissertation was working with adults with autism, a program area that NCIA may be looking to develop in the future.

Our Vocational Training Centers continue to thrive. This week we will have our “completion ceremony” in our Baltimore location, where over seventy students will receive their certifications in automotive repair, HVAC repair, Commercial Driver’s License, culinary arts and drone operation. What an achievement that all of us at NCIA can celebrate!

On the administrative side, please be patient with our fiscal office over the next few weeks. Our annual audit will be taking place and our staff will be on “double duty”—performing their daily tasks as well as responding to constant auditor requests for documents. As mentioned previously, these annual audits are critical for our funders to know that NCIA is fiscally responsible for their grants and contracts.

Finally, open enrollment for our benefits is now complete, and Sandra Mock-Meyers and her staff in our Human Resources department deserve a huge round of applause. They did a fantastic job in enrolling hundreds of NCIA staff and explaining our benefit package so all could understand. Again, a model of NCIA teamwork.

So have a great holiday weekend, keep up the good work, stay safe and follow NCIA’s protocols at all times.