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  • July 21, 2022 11:53 AM | NENA Admin (Administrator)

    As Employment Networks, our goals are to have satisfied beneficiaries. That said, complaints happen. When a beneficiary or employer complains, it is usually for a good reason or genuine concern. Most often job seekers often feel that they are not being attended to as they would like. Employers’ concerns can range from unprepared job seekers to a lack of strong candidates. We must take care of the customer by listening to the complaint and resolving it.

    Our job seekers want to know someone is listening and they are understood, and they are hoping you are willing to take care of the problem to their satisfaction. No matter what the situation, when a customer brings a complaint to your attention—even if they do it in a less-than-desirable way—be thankful. As the old saying goes, “We can’t fix it, if we don’t know it’s broken.” Moreover, we must realize that improper handling of a customer complaint can move up the ladder. It is always preferred to have a complaint resolved in house.

    I am sharing strategies for complaint resolution. Be mindful, we are all contractors with the Federal Government, and you should always follow mandated guidelines.

    Here are five strategies that will help you handle a customer complaint in a smooth and professional manner:

    1.      Stay calm. When a customer presents you with a complaint, keep in mind that the issue is not personal; he or she is not attacking you directly but rather the situation at hand. “Winning” the confrontation accomplishes nothing. A person who remains in control of his or her emotions deals from a position of strength. While it is perfectly natural to get defensive when attacked, choose to be the “professional” and keep your cool.

    2.      Listen well. Let the irate customer blow off steam. Respond with phrases such as, “Hmm,” “I see,” and “Tell me more.” Do not interrupt. As the customer vents and sees you are not reacting, he or she will begin to calm down. The customer needs to get into a calm frame of mind before he or she can hear your solution—or anything you say, for that matter.

    3.      Acknowledge the problem. Let the customer know you hear what he or she is saying. If you or your company made a mistake, admit it. If you did not make a mistake and it is a misunderstanding, simply explain it to the customer: “I can see how that would be incredibly frustrating for you.” You are not necessarily agreeing with what the customer is saying, but respecting how he or she perceives and feels about the situation. An excellent phrase for opening up this particular conversation would be, “So, if I understand you correctly…” After the customer responds, follow up with, “So, if I understand you correctly, we were to resolve the problem by noon today. I can see how that must be frustrating for you.” Then be quiet. Usually, the customer will respond with “That’s right” or “Exactly.” By repeating to the customer what you think you heard, you lower his or her defenses, and win the right to be heard.

    4.      Get the facts. After listening, take the initiative in the conversation. Now that the customer has calmed down and feels you have heard his or her side, begin asking questions. Be careful not to speak scripted replies, but use this as an opportunity to start a genuine conversation, building a trusting relationship with your customer. To help you understand the situation, get as many details as possible.

    5.      Offer a solution. This happens only after you have sufficient details. One thing to keep in mind: Know what you can and cannot do within your company’s guidelines. Making a promise you cannot commit to will only set you back. Remember, when offering a solution, be courteous and respectful. Let the customer know you are willing to take ownership of the issue, even if it was out of your control. Take charge of the situation and let the customer know what you are going to do to solve the problem.

    A quick follow-up phone call a few days later to make sure everything is alright is icing on the cake. Even a small gesture of apology can turn this interaction from disaster to legendary. A simple gesture like this could result in a future referral or a positive word-of-mouth marketing recommendation.


  • June 28, 2022 7:47 PM | NENA Admin (Administrator)

    By Jessica Conant, NENA Director
    Disability Resource Coordinator, Golden Sierra Job Training Agency

    We are all in different stages of transitioning into ever evolving business practices due to the pandemic. One thing that is sure to stay is the ability to provide remote services to serve all participants in our programs. We have all discovered various practices that are now a part of our daily work. From Zoom, Microsoft Teams, DocuSign, and online assessments and tools, these are here to stay and we continue to add new ones! One that we recently discovered is Interview Warmup from Google. This program uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help our participants prepare for upcoming interviews. It is programed to ask common interview questions and analyze the voice and/or typed responses to provide valuable feedback. Participants can use this information to up their interview game on their own time and in their homes.

    As a part of the Training Committee we are always on the lookout for new tools that we can bring to the group. If you have discovered anything that has helped you or your participants grow, please send it in so we can share with all of our NENA members! https://grow.google/certificates/interview-warmup/


  • May 23, 2022 8:00 AM | Rachel Hoffman (Administrator)
    Blurred image of two women talking at a table in an office setting.

    By Lauren Parker, NENA Director
    Senior Director, The SkillSource Group, Inc.
    Virginia Career Works - Northern Region

    Things have been busy here at NENA as we gear up for the 12th Annual National Training Conference – our first in-person conference in two years! All this training talk has me thinking about the different professional development opportunities that have helped me over my career in workforce development and Ticket to Work. One high on my list is Motivational Interviewing (MI). Many of you have probably heard of MI. Others may be MI trainers. But if MI is new to you, you are not alone. When I first heard the term, I remember wondering if it was some new employer-preferred style of interviewing.

    What is MI?

    MI is a method of communication (rather than an intervention) that helps us talk to job seekers who are experiencing ambivalence. Ambivalence can sound like many things. A few examples that might sound familiar:

    • “I don’t want to depend on my benefits, but I’m scared to lose my safety net.”
    • “I know that I might need to start with an entry-level job, but I don’t want to sell myself short.”
    • “I know it’s better to find a job while I have a job, but I really want to quit.”

    MI helps us tap into our job seekers’ motivations and explore their “why”. By listening and eliciting their reasons for change, we can help them fully explore their ambivalence which is essential to change. In short, MI helps us arrange the conversation so that our job seekers become more motivated. It is also an evidence-based approach with numerous studies across various settings and populations on its effectiveness.

    MI Has Spirit!

    The spirit of MI is how the conversation should feel. That conversation should feel like a partnership (collaboration), with the job seeker feeling valued and accepted (autonomy). The conversation should demonstrate compassion while evoking and drawing out ideas (evocation) rather than imposing them. Examples of these concepts might sound like this:
    • “This is a partnership. We will work together to help you achieve your career goals.”
    • “I have some experience with that. Can I make some suggestions? You get to choose any or none of them.”
    • “You probably feel two ways about this. Tell me about your internal struggle.”
    • “I’m really interested in understanding your perspective. How do you feel about talking to me more about your point of view?”

    How MI Helped Me Help Others

    Learning the full MI framework takes time and practice to master. It is a complex skill. Despite first being introduced to MI concepts in 2017, I am still a novice. But what I quickly came to love about MI was that I could immediately implement many of its lessons and techniques. I gained micro skills to evoke change talk through open-ended questions, affirmations (recognize strengths and values), reflections, and summarizing. By applying these skills, I found I could move conversations toward change, and I became a better listener in the process. Additionally, I no longer needed to supply all the solutions. In the end, the choice for change is theirs to make.

    What training has been pivotal in your career? Perhaps you'll find your answer in Nashville at this year’s Annual National Training Conference!

    ----

    Curious about MI? Check out these resources:

  • April 22, 2022 3:36 PM | Rachel Hoffman (Administrator)

    As a Wisconsin Partnership Plus EN, I cannot stress enough the value of having this relationship with our state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency. Partnership Plus is a win-win-win: it’s a win for the ticketholder as they get seamless services transitioning from VR to an EN while working; it’s a win for the state VR agency because of the performance measures under the Workforce Incentives and Opportunity Act also known as WIOA (tracking retention and earnings post-closure); and it’s a win for the EN to continue to have referrals coming in to grow and sustain our programs and services.  While not every state has or supports Partnership Plus, there are ways you can implement some of the best practices into your services and outreach to other community organizations. 

     
    Partnership Plus (+)  
    The Ticket Program counts a successful handoff if the ticket holder assigns their ticket to a Partnership Plus EN within 90 days of VR case closure. A ticketholder can assign their ticket to an EN if they are in current pay status with Social Security or within 90 days of VR case closure or EN unassignment. This 90-day extension period to assign their Ticket after VR case closure or EN unassignment is available regardless of their benefit status with SSA. If a ticket holder’s benefits are in suspense and they are beyond the 90-day extension period, their ticket will be unassignable.    

    It is important to share these timelines with your partners to ensure that a ticket holder can use their ticket with an EN.  Timely assignment of a Ticket allows ENs to provide services and supports to a ticketholder anywhere from 3 to 5+ years depending on their benefits and work history. If your agency has ever had to tell someone that while they have a ticket for the Ticket to Work Program, they are not able to use it (aka ticket is not assignable)- you understand the disappointment this brings to ticket holders. The key to avoiding that situation is to educate! 

    What do I mean when I say community partners? Here are some examples: 

    • State VR staff (counselors)  

    • Project Search Coordinators  

    • Community Rehab Providers (CRPs)  

    • Long-term care providers  

    • Independent Living Centers (ILCs)  

    • Aging and Disability Resource Centers 

    • American Job Centers 

    • Social Security Administration  

    • Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) projects 
       

    Engage with community partners to: 

    • Communicate who is eligible for the Ticket to Work Program. 

    • Identify Ticket to Work candidates.  

    • Determine when someone’s ticket is available to use and the sense of urgency in referring.  

    • Respond promptly to inquiries about the Ticket Program- ticketholders, family members, VR counselors or other professionals.   

    • Create a referral process. Make it easy for people to refer and be referred to your program/agency.  

    • Release of Information (ROI)—have the ticket holder sign a ROI when appropriate for coordination of services. 

    • Close the loop— (with ROI) communicate when someone is enrolled with your Ticket to Work services, when appropriate. 

    Partnerships are a two-way street. You should also inquire what your community partner does, how they work with individuals, what their referral process is, and other key service details. 

    Do you have other tips on partnering? If so, email me- I’d love to hear them! 
     

    Lastly, I wanted to address a few common misunderstandings about the Ticket Program: 

    • An SSDI beneficiary who is 64 can use their Ticket with an EN. If their Ticket is assigned while they are age 64, they can utilize their Ticket with an EN until they reach their full retirement age or until their Ticket is exhausted, whichever comes first.  

    • Rules about how benefits are affected by work are the same whether someone is using their ticket or not. The Ticket Program provides additional options for employment services and medical review protection if someone is making Timely Progress 

    What other myths about the Ticket program and/or working on benefits do you hear often?  
     
    All the best, 

    Sarah Lyngdal, NENA Secretary 

    Employment Resources, Inc. (ERI PLUS)

  • March 29, 2022 5:07 PM | NENA Admin (Administrator)

    By David Leon, NENA Director
    Director Workforce Programs
    Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

    It’s April, which means it’s Financial Literacy Month! Now is the perfect time to think about how money, or a lack thereof, is impacting your clients’ abilities to reach their goals and how you can empower them on their journey toward financial independence. Here are a few easily accessible tools that may be helpful to the people that you serve:

    ABLE Accounts – People receiving cash benefits often have difficulty saving money without jeopardizing their eligibility for other resource-restricted programs (SSI, Medicaid, food and/or housing assistance, etc). ABLE accounts allow individuals to save resources well-above $2,000 in a tax-advantaged account while maintaining access to their other programs! Contributions can be made directly to an account by friends and family (bypassing requirements for reporting unearned income when applicable), and funds can be used for a wide variety of goods and services that help the account holder Achieve a Better Life Experience (ABLE)!

    VITA – Many people with disabilities are paying for assistance with tax preparation and/or are accepting costly refund anticipation loans. The IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) offers free tax assistance for individuals who are earning less than $54,000, have a disability, speak limited English or are Senior citizens. Use the link to find providers that meet your clients’ needs!

    Financial Empowerment – Many Employment Networks and Vocational Rehabilitation agencies are adept at helping their clients find employment but are not equipped to support their client’s financial wellness. There are several curricula available that provide basic financial literacy instruction specifically designed to be accessible to people with disabilities. These can provide basic or detailed information on spending/savings plans, identity protection, understanding credit and credit scores, paying bills and other important topics. You may also choose to partner with nonprofits or financial institutions. Adding financial empowerment services may increase referrals and outcomes for your EN and the beneficiaries you serve. 

  • February 17, 2022 6:25 PM | NENA Admin (Administrator)

    By Jan Dabroski, NENA Director
    Center for People with Disabilities 

    A majority of beneficiaries are unaware of the services and supports available to them free of charge. Provided is a list of services and supports that are available and can be shared with Ticket to Work Beneficiaries while beneficiaries are in the Ticket to Work program. 

    Ticket to Work Helpline - 1-866-968-7842

    Ticket to Work Website - https://choosework.ssa.gov/

    Work Incentive Seminar Events (WISE) - https://choosework.ssa.gov/webinars-tutorials/index.html

    Fact Sheets / Success Stories / Videos / Podcasts - https://choosework.ssa.gov/library/index.html


    EMPLOYMENT TEAM

    Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) – 57 Nationwide. Attorneys and Advocates that give support and guidance on disability beneficiary rights, complaints, work incentives, and sometimes free legal services/representatives. 1-866-968-7842

    Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) - 103 Nationwide. WIPA personnel help recipients plan their work lives, determine eligibility for various federal and state programs, assist with health benefits coverage from employers and/or the federal government, and provides referrals and resources.

    Employment Network (EN) - A public or private organization that contracts with Social Security to provide free employment support services to Social Security disability beneficiaries ages 18 through 64.

    Worksheet to assist with finding an EN -  https://choosework.ssa.gov/Assets/cw/docs-materials/BeneficiaryWsht-form6-05-2015_508.pdf

    Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (VR) - State VR helps individuals return to work who need more significant services such as tuition for school, extensive training, rehabilitation services, vehicle modifications, and more before starting work. https://rsa.ed.gov/about/states

    Workforce Center/American Job Center Employment Network - Employment Networks that are part of a state's public workforce system. They provide access to a wide array of employment support services, including training programs, job development, and special programs for youth in transition and veterans. 

    Along with the website provided you can also find your Employment Team in your area (PABSS, WIPA, EN, WR, WF) by going to: 

    https://choosework.ssa.gov/findhelp/result?p_sort=alphabetical&option=2&resStr=en,wf&p_pagesize=25&p_pagenum=1


    OTHER SUPPORTS/SERVICES/RESOURCES

    Job Accommodation Network (JAN) - Free expert guidance and one-on-one consultations on workplace accommodations, the American Disability Act (ADA), related legislation, and employment issues including self-employment. 1-866-526-7842 – www.askJAN.org

    American Disability Act (ADA) - Assistance with rights, laws, and discrimination https://www.ada.gov/

    Department of Labor (DOL) & Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) - Information on jobs, training, unemployment, labor laws, workers compensation, and employment discrimination

    DOL -  https://www.dol.gov/   

    EEOC - https://www.eeoc.gov/

    Legal Assistance - Free to low-cost legal assistance. National Disability Rights Network https://www.ndrn.org/  You can find the legal centers in your area using the National site.

    Center for Independent Living Centers (ILC) - Private, non-profit, consumer controlled, community-based organization that provides services and advocacy for persons with all types of disabilities. They assist with employment, housing, transportation, health issues, and more. The goal is to assist individuals towards independent living.

    National Independent Living Center – Washington, DC (202)-207-0334 – www.ncil.org

    Federal Employment of People With Disabilities (Federal Jobs) -  https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/disability-employment/

  • January 21, 2022 3:15 PM | NENA Admin (Administrator)

    By Amy Wallish, NENA President
    Chief Executive Officer
    Full Circle Employment Solutions LLC

    and Heather Miller
    Ticket to Work Coordinator
    Full Circle Employment Solutions LLC

    If you’re anything like me, you anxiously await the first of each month because that means you can start requesting more EN payments in the portal. Our organization has designated staff who work on requests as well as a central location (folder) where paystubs are saved and wait to be processed. The following are tips and tricks for how you can make the life of your EN Payments Processor easier.

    [Disclaimer: this is primarily for wage employment only, not self-employment. That’s another article to be written at a later date.]

    Make sure the paystubs have the following information clearly legible:

    1. Beneficiary Name. Sounds simple enough, but I’ve seen them go through without a name especially in the digital age when beneficiaries can screenshot a payments app to send over.
    2. Pay Period Dates (or at least an ending date). This is also needed for an SSI beneficiary because it has to be entered to submit the payment. **Note** If you really want to get on the processor’s good side, complete the SSA form Supplement Earnings Statement if the pay period dates aren’t listed. Some payments will be denied if you type in or handwrite the pay period dates onto the stub. If you can’t get your beneficiary to respond to requests asking for pay periods, Google the employer. Oftentimes, larger employers or governmental agencies will have payroll schedules available online. You can submit this with your earnings evidence.
    3. Pay Date.
    4. Name of Employer (not to be confused with the payroll company processing the paystubs.)
    5. Gross Wages.
    6. Net Wages.
    7. Make sure it shows taxes being deducted, or TPM may assume it’s self-employment.
    8. Continue to counsel beneficiaries to report wages to their local SSA office. When wages are reported timely and applied to their record, earnings can show up on record in the portal. This is quite helpful for payment purposes and it also helps the beneficiary avoid overpayment of benefits.
    9. Ensure the paystub is not upside down. Yes, it happens frequently and it’s hard to read everything upside down, so go that one extra step and straighten that all out for your team member!
    10. Label the stub correctly with an agreed upon method. This keeps things nice, neat and orderly. It also helps prevent the processor from missing paystubs. Depending on the processor, it may soothe anxiety as well.
    11. Make sure the stubs reflect Trial Work Period or Substantial Gainful Activity level. That’s great if Joe Smith finally returned to work, but if he isn’t earning at those levels yet, it just clutters up the folder and takes time away from the processor.
    12. Obtain paystubs prior to ticket assignment if Phase 1 payments are in question and earnings haven’t been updated in the portal. This helps ENs avoid overpayments. It’s not always possible, but it’s very helpful. If you do benefits counseling, it’s nice to have them anyway.
    13. Have a BPQY readily accessible so the payments processor can use it to check past earnings on record. This helps determine which Phase 1 payments we might be eligible for. It also helps give proof of earnings before assignment should you need to show that.
    14. And finally, remember to tell the payments processor how great they are on a regular basis!

    These are just a few tips and tricks you can easily implement to help create a more efficient payment processing method. If you’ve ever processed payments in the EN Portal, you already know how valuable it is to have this information available. It saves time energy and a whole lot of frustration.

  • December 23, 2021 11:45 AM | NENA Admin (Administrator)

    By Matt Silverstein, NENA Director
    Director of Public Affairs
    America Works of New York, Inc.

    Can you believe that 2022 is already here? I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year! I hope you are staying safe and healthy, and that 2021 was a prosperous time for your organization. I am confident that 2022 is going to be a great year for the Ticket to Work Employment Program.

    With a new year comes new hopes and dreams. Even though we are still in the middle of a global pandemic and a difficult economic time, now is actually a great time to go back to work. Many companies are hiring people. We at America Works of New York have found that there are actually more jobs out there right now than there are people to fill those jobs.

    As a new NENA Director, I wanted to also take the time to introduce myself. I am the Director of Public Affairs for America Works of New York and I co-manage our Ticket to Work Employment Network nationally. I have worked at America Works for over 13 years and I have worked on Ticket To Work nearly that entire time. 2021 was an amazing year for me. The year ended with the birth of my daughter Abigail Hannah. My husband and I adopted her at the end of November in South Carolina. Our Ticket to Work program at America Works continues to grow. We currently have 21 Ticket to Work offices in 14 states and the District of Columbia. We were really encouraged by the growth of our program virtually in new areas. We were pleased to enroll people in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, South Carolina and Texas. We are looking forward to continued growth in 2022.

    I wanted to remind everyone that with the start of 2022 comes new Trial Work Level and Substantial Gainful Activity levels. In 2022, the Trial Work Level (TWL) has increased to $970.00, up from $940.00 in 2021. Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) has increased to $2,260 for blind individuals and $1,350 for non-blind individuals. Please remember these amounts when you are working with your clients. I also wanted to remind everyone about the importance of having your clients report their earnings to the Social Security Administration. We must do all we can to help our clients avoid overpayments.

    If you ever have any questions or if you ever need advice, please reach out to me at msilverstein@americaworks.com. My door is always open. Remember that together we can make a difference!

  • November 19, 2021 2:11 PM | NENA Admin (Administrator)

    By Hannah Schoenberg, NENA Director
    Employment Network Coordinator | CPWIC
    RAMP

    It has been a long two years and many of you may be feeling the effects of life and work in a pandemic. You may be finding yourself telling your friends and family “I am feeling burned out,” but what you may be experiencing is compassion fatigue. WebMD describes compassion fatigue as the physical, emotional, and psychological impact of helping others, usually through a stressful or traumatic time. You might feel helpless, powerless, hopeless, sad, numb, detached. Compassion fatigue can come on quickly.

    The good news is that compassion fatigue is treatable! Thank you, Dr. WebMD! One of the top suggestions to prevent compassion fatigue is to education yourself on the signs and symptoms. Here are some signs as listed by the American Institute of Stress, Cigna:

    • Emotional: anger, irritability, sense of hopelessness
    • Physical: headaches, stomach pains, hypertension
    • Cognitive: difficulty concentrating, self-blame, low sense of self-worth
    • Behavior: lack of joy, chronic lateness, substance abuse

    To overcome compassion fatigue, you first have to come to terms with what you are feeling and develop a plan to care for your SELF, something that so many of us aren’t used to doing. There is no one size fits all plan when it comes to self-care, but there are a few things we can all do to make sure we are recharging our batteries. Here are some do’s and don’t’s when it comes to self-care:

    Do:

    • Find someone to talk to who will encourage you!
    • Accept that your feelings are valid.
    • Return to or discover new hobbies.
    • Focus on sleep, exercise and diet.
    • Take time away from work.

    Don’t:

    • Make a big decision. This can lead to great stress down the line.
    • Shift blame.
    • Commiserate with others…they say misery loves company, but this will only fuel the fatigue.
    • Seek a quick fix in descriptive behaviors.

    My challenge to you as we enter this holiday season is to carve out time for self-care and hobbies, focus on your family and healthy friendships, and seek professional help if needed. 

  • November 01, 2021 10:27 AM | NENA Admin (Administrator)

    By Donna Osburn, NENA Director
    SSA/VR Coordinator, Kentucky Career Center
    Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

    Can you believe that it’s been over a month since the NENA 2021 Conference? I’m still pondering some of the information that I gleaned and am contemplating ways to implement new ideas. One idea that keeps surfacing is the concept of “engagement.” I wanted to share a few takeaways I had on this topic.

    I was first inspired by the session, “Client Engagement & Retention: Supporting Ticketholders from Intake to Graduation.” This session was full of tips for engaging Ticketholders and generated a lot of interesting comments in the chat. As a State VR administrator, I was primarily interested in discovering what Employment Networks could offer after employment as a way of promoting Partnership Plus. As I listened to the ideas, it occurred to me that some of them might be difficult for a state VR counselor to implement due to time constraints caused by large caseloads and restrictions on purchasing for state/federal agencies. This could be a way for Employment Networks to distinguish themselves from State VR agencies. It could also be an opportunity for partnering. Staff from the Vermont VR agency presented their specialized approach with Ticketholders in “Supporting SSDI/SSI Beneficiaries Transitioning to Self-Sustaining Employment.” Their implementation involved a team approach with a VR Counselor, a Community Rehabilitation Placement Specialist, and a Certified Work Incentive Counselor. Perhaps the team approach Vermont used in their project could be a model for a state VR and an EN to begin their partnership. The few Partnership Plus hand-offs we have achieved are almost always with an agency that is working with the Ticketholder during the state VR case. They build the relationship and then can take over the Ticket assignment after the VR case is closed. It’s a much easier sell.

    While I’m sure that we can agree that engagement is an important consideration for our Ticketholders, we may want to expand on that for others we encounter in our day-to-day business. As turnover continues to be an issue, it’s important to remember the value of our staff and keep them engaged. It’s also important to consider partner agencies, including employers. One helpful session was “The Death of Boring and Unproductive Meetings.” If you must have a meeting, make it count. Keep this in mind for meetings with co-workers, partner agencies, employers, etc. I particularly like the tip about setting goals. One way to get partner agencies involved could be to give them ownership in the meeting. They should be involved in planning and goal setting. This can also be a good plan for our NENA committee meetings. In addition, it occurs to me that Success Stories are not just beneficial for Ticketholders. Reminding staff of why their work matters can go a long way in job satisfaction.

    In today’s world, being able to engage someone virtually is vital. The number of people working remotely has increased drastically since the pandemic, making being able to connect through technology important for us all. Fortunately, there were sessions to address that issue this year. Both “Building Trust Virtually” and “Virtual Onboarding for Remote Team Members” offer up ideas in this area.

    The good news is that these sessions, along with the others that I haven’t specifically mentioned, are still available. The conference information is available to attendees for 60 days post-conference, so it’s not too late to go back and see how else you can be engaged.

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The National Employment Network Association (NENA) serves Employment Networks (ENs), American Job Centers (AJCs), State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (SVRAs) and other Stakeholders involved in the Social Security Administration's Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program.

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