- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa court reporters are expressing relief that a college in the state will offer a training program in the occupation this fall.

An estimated 60 percent of court reporters in Iowa are expected to retire within the next 10 years, according to the Sioux City Journal (https://bit.ly/1nuXii7). Filling those vacancies was going to be difficult because the AIB College of Business in Des Moines ended a longtime court reporter program after the Iowa Supreme Court supported switching to digital audio reporting.

The courts changed course and decided court reporters were a better option, but with the business college ending its program, people had to travel to Minneapolis or St. Louis to take classes.

“The joke is before we can retire, we have to find a replacement,” said Brooke Betsworth, a court reporter in the 3rd Judicial District, which includes much of northwest Iowa.

Reporters said they’re pleased to hear Des Moines Area Community College will offer court reporting this fall, as filling positions has become increasingly difficult. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 14 percent growth in demand for court reporters through 2020.

“There’s definitely a need,” said Misty Bubke, another 3rd District reporter. “Having a school in Iowa attracts Iowa students and keeps them here.”

Reporters acknowledge the work can be difficult, as they’re required to type 225 words per minute with 97 percent accuracy. Although the training can be difficult, reporters said students can shadow reporters and turn to them for support.

“We can mentor these students and help them get through it,” Bubke said.


Information from: Sioux City Journal, https://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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