ROC USA® Takes Network Convening Online

CONCORD, N.H. – Last week, ROC USA® staff and Network affiliates joined one another online to strengthen and enhance the skills they use to help community members.

Originally scheduled to take place in person in Kalispell, Montana, the convening was moved to a virtual setting due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Each year, ROC USA hosts a spring and fall convening to offer further guidance and training to affiliate staff.

Despite the transition to an online format, 54 people attended, and all 10 ROC USA® Network Certified Technical Assistance Providers  — CASA of OregonCooperative Development Institute, Cooperative Housing Expansion of AustinNorthcountry Cooperative Foundation, LEAP ROC, NeighborWorks® MontanaPathStoneROC-NHROC Northwest, and Thistle — were represented.

“It was inspiring to get everyone together, even if we weren’t in person,” said Mary O’Hara, Director of ROC USA® Network. “We had a bigger group than usual – being virtual actually allowed people more flexibility to attend.”

Sessions were broken up into 90-minute calls on RingCentral over three days. Opening sessions included a State of the Enterprise presented by ROC USA staff and updates from each affiliate.

More specialized sessions allowed trainers to share innovations and achievements from the field, such as a successful infill projects, creative ways of voting during the pandemic, and a session devoted to answering follow up questions for technical assistance providers who recently completed onboarding training.

There were also opportunities to work through scenarios specific to technical assistance providers. Additionally, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training continued with LaDonna Sanders Redmond for those who began the program at the last network convening in March.

“It felt like we were in person after the first day of CTAP updates,” said Tara Reardon, Director of ROC-NH.

The convening concluded with a virtual reception which allowed participants the opportunity to socialize in a more informal setting.