The NENA Board of Directors met for a special series of Planning and Training meetings from November 13-14, 2022. The board utilized this time to plan for the coming year and ensure that NENA offerings are relevant to the NENA mission and membership needs. As you know, the NENA Board of Directors and other volunteers work to ensure that NENA adds value to all members.
Do you know what the NENA mission is? You will see that it is now featured prominently on the website home page.
During the planning and training meetings, the board conducted a thorough analysis of NENA’s budget, Annual Training Conference, monthly meetings, training and networking opportunities, website, newsletter and other member resources. We also me with Robert Pfaff, Director – Office of Research, Demonstration and Employment Support for the Social Security Administration to solicit feedback regarding the Ticket Program.
As a board we are committed to continuing our commitment to excellence in providing training and technical support to members, creating opportunities for connection and collaboration, maintaining a strong working relationship with the Social Security Administration and the Ticket Program Manager. In the coming year we plan to build on this foundation while focusing our attention and efforts on several key areas for growth.
The board identified four specific areas, central to NENA’s mission, which will be the focus of our work in 2023.
- Advocacy: NENA has a powerful collective voice and opportunity to offer feedback regarding the Ticket Program with Social Security and the Ticket Program Manager. Our goal for 2023 is to nurture and maximize these relationships to advocate for policies and that benefit NENA membership and Ticketholders.
- Training: NENA is well-respected for our work training members and providing technical assistance. We offer many resources to help you maintain compliance and grow your program. Our goals for 2023 is to maximize the effectiveness of meetings and other offerings to ensure content is relevant, unique and comprehensively meets all member needs.
- Engagement: Members have shared that they value the interaction and information sharing they have with other members, especially during the annual training conference. Our goal for 2023 is to facilitate additional opportunities for members to make meaningful connections.
- Board Organization: We recognize that the NENA Board of Directors exists to serve the needs of the membership. Our goal for 2023 is to ensure that all members have access to important information about board operations including by-laws, election procedures, finances, and other relevant information.
Over the coming months will see updates to the website and newsletter as we implement action items from this meeting. Several work groups have been tasked with action items surrounding these goals. We are eager to hear your feedback and ideas as to how NENA can better meet your needs and help you to grow.
Partnering with Social Security
The NENA Board of Directors met with Robert Pfaff, Director, Office of Research, Demonstration and Employment Support for the Social Security Administration to solicit feedback regarding the Ticket Program. Several recommendations were made to increase Ticket Program growth and continued success.
- Employment Networks should offer certified benefits planning as a part of their services whenever possible; benefits planning and work incentives information is key to Ticket program growth and helping Ticketholders to successfully return to work.
- Vocational Rehabilitation partnerships provide a unique opportunity to expand Ticket Program participation and Ticket assignments. NENA should continue their work of engaging with state Vocational Rehabilitation to expand Ticket to Work.
- NENA members have a powerful collective and individual voices which can be used to advocate for policies which benefit Ticketholders and increase the visibility of the Ticket to Work Program. It is important for NENA to support advocacy efforts. Communication with legislators is especially important in times of turnover.
- Cost of Living Adjustment letters will be going out to Ticketholders over the next few weeks. These letters are accompanied by information about Ticket to Work which will lead to an increase in Ticket to Work interest, calls and possible Ticket assignments.