HGTC hopes to fill nationwide court reporter shortage

HGTC hopes to fill nationwide court reporter shortage
Updated: Sep. 5, 2018 at 8:13 AM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The nationwide court reporter shortage has caused court delays throughout our state including our own area, but one local college hopes to help fill the need. Horry-Georgetown Technical College is working to create a court reporter program in response to the nationwide shortage. A court reporter is responsible for taking down everything said in a plea hearing or trial.

Right now, there's currently no court reporter program offered in schools along the Grand Strand. President of Horry-Georgetown Technical College, Marilyn Fore, said she was approached by SC Senator Stephen Goldfinch about the need for court reporters locally and statewide.

Officials say there could be a couple factors in play for the shortage, noting right now the average age in this profession is in the 50's and they're starting to retire without enough people to replace them.

This new program through HGTC will hopefully attract more millennials to the job.

"I met with the court administration in Columbia and they have expressed a dire need across the state of South Carolina for court reporters, and there are different levels of expertise and so in the next few weeks, we're going to be conducting a needs assessment, and what that means is we'll be talking with all of the court systems to find out what is the true need and based upon what evidence we have from then, then I will probably start a program," said Fore.

Right now, HGTC is in the needs assessment stage, meaning they are gathering research on the employer need in our state. School leaders plan to meet with the State Court Administration in the next few weeks to determine whether and how to create a program. Fore said the court reporter program would provide students flexible options to fit their schedule.

"I may partner with another technical college like in Midlands - that program may be taught as what we would call a hybrid program, which would be partially taught face-to-face and partially online, that'll allow the flexibility of students to be able to come to the campus part of the time, go into the courtroom part of the time and do a practicum, and also to be able to do a part of it at home while they're taking care of their own personal lives," said Fore.

An average starting salary for a court reporter in the Palmetto State is about $40,000.

To learn more about the career, click here.

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