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10/14/17 -
Join us for the CCRA FALL SEMINAR!
by Janice Cummings -  CCRA Secretary, 2007-2010 
When asked what I would tell someone who asks, "Why should I join CCRA?,"  I quickly thought of several really good reasons, ranging from "It's supporting your profession" to "Great networking opportunities."  But when I considered this question a little further, I think my first reason would be:  Because it's FUN!

Let's face it.  Most of us -- and this is especially true of freelancers -- work very independently and have very limited contact with other reporters, apart from occasionally passing in the lobbies of law firms or the halls of a courthouse.  When two reporters get together with time to sit and chat and share stories and information, a lively conversation blossoms almost immediately, even if the two are total strangers. The best part about going to meetings, seminars, and conventions that are held by CCRA on a regular basis is the opportunity to just hang out and relax with other people who actually know what we do and, more importantly, understand what it's all about -- the day-to-day frustrations of the job, the concerns, the obsession over finding precisely the right way to write a horribly phrased question or answer, the fact that family and friends REALLY DON'T understand what we do, the absurdity of some of the situations that arise totally unexpectedly.  I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, it's FUN to get together to chat with other reporters!

Following closely on the heels of that are the many opportunities for earning CEUs through training seminars, conventions, and lecture series, all of which are offered at reduced rates to CCRA members.  In fact, there are even occasional opportunities for free CEUs for members at our regular membership meetings, at which guest speakers share their expertise in various fields. CCRA conventions, usually held every other year, are wonderful opportunities for everyone to attend a weekend convention without the expense of having to travel out of state, and our lecture series allows our members to pick and choose among various topics of interest and attend only those sessions they find relevant to their specific needs.
In addition to training opportunities, our new, interactive Web site is a wonderful resource for all of our members to network with one another or to post and find answers to just about anything, including those tricky transcript/language issues, and to keep up-to-date on what is happening in the field of court reporting in the state and the issues that affect all of us.  It's also a great starting point for our court reporting students to interact with not only one another, but with working reporters, who can answer any questions they may have or perhaps even be their mentor through those difficult speed-building stages that we've all had to endure.

Finally, by joining CCRA, you are supporting and becoming part of an organization devoted to promoting and nurturing the field of reporting in the state. A strong and healthy reporting community is of benefit to us all; and to that end, CCRA supports various initiatives designed to strengthen and enhance the field of reporting, from recruiting and education, to licensure and compliance with state regulations.  Additionally, when governmental issues arise which might have an impact on the field of reporting, CCRA, through our own lobbyist in Hartford, can monitor those situations and respond if necessary.  Again, because we work in such an independent field, it is easy to lose track of the fact that we ARE a community, and that community has an interest and a stake in what goes on at the state government level regarding issues that can affect us all.

So, in closing, I would say join us to have fun, make new friends, learn new things, but most importantly, support the professional community of which you are already a part!
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