National Telecommuting Institute?

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National Telecommuting Institute?

Postby carbro on Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:59 pm

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I recently heard that they may have a report on file with the Better Business Bureau? I recently began the interview process with them. Any info would be greatly appreciated. thanks.
Carolyn Brooks
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Re: Anyone Ever Heard of the National Telecommuting Institute?

Postby castrojossie on Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:56 am

Hi Carolyn:

Yes I have heard of the National Telecommuting Institute, NTI. Doing my work at home google search I came across them on August of this year, they contacted me by email for a position with the IRS. A bilingual customer service agent. Someone interviewed me by phone, also they asked me to install yahoo messenger to test my abilities with computers. In September I got some paper work, I-9, background check the works. I didnt have a telephone line so I had to work on that in the meantime, but being out of a job and only living by unemployment benefits was kinda hard. Anyways I had a hard time trying to get my fingerprints on the card, cause the police in PR wouldnt do it, so I had to go to Customs and they got em done (thank God for those kind customs guys!! ) They kept sending me email after email for my phone line, I asked if I could train with my cellphone cause I didnt know if I was gonna get the job and I didnt wanna have an extra bill to pay. They made me get my phone line and after 3 months they told me there was a scheduled training session I could attend it beginning november 21, 2008 thru december 5, 2008. All this training was gonna be payed $7 per hour.



Two weeks before they told me about the training, one of my family members who resides in Miami got ill and I was the only one in the family unemployed so they chose me to go to there. I told NTI that there was no phone in my relatives house only their cellphones, they kept on insisting if my family could put a landline phone there for my training. I told them that it was something I couldnt control, it was my family but I couldnt obligate them, well after they insisted like 3 times, I kept on saying the same thing, and they stopped insisting and told me that I could take that day of training the 21st of november with my cellphone but the others had to be with my home phone. The training was overall easy, I had prior experience working for 2 other call centers so, the only thing i felt was I was a little rusty. They gave us a huge module, consisting of like 5 quizzes and like 3 tests. If you failed one of those in the proccess you were out, those quizzes and tests gave you 2 chances to pass them, and also you could check the answers that you have made on the prior test to see were you went wrong.

Now last day of training december 5,2008 second day of live test calls (with employees as customers). The session was about to start and I got a power outage and I told the trainer and she told me as soon as I got the power back to log on the system. I didnt get power till like 4pm that day, same time as the training ended. Here in PR, they dont fix power outages in a jiffy - sometimes it takes them hours or maybe a couple of days depending on the intensity of the problem. I called the trainer again and told her my difficulty, she said that she didnt know what was gonna happen with me since I failed to be there on the last day of training. What was I supposed to do?? Get on the pole and fix the problem myself???

Well on tuesday, this happened on friday, they sent me this email, that theyre sorry but I cant work for them cause, I failed to complete the last training session. And also one thing I forgot to tell you, you have to get on a program that they have for your schedule called Planet ETC login and hussle for your hours, like 3 of us didnt get any hours, and I was one of them!!!! I checked those hours on friday and nothing, I checked them on saturday nothing, I checked them on monday and they gave me 8.75 hours for the whole week, and at the start they tell you you will be working a minimum of 20 hours per week, not true at all!!!! I wrote to Human Resources regarding my situation, and they didnt care that I had a $123 phone bill waiting to be payed, they didnt care I am unemployed!!! No they said straight up that I couldnt work for the IRS cause I missed the last day of test calls, even though I had passed the final test, completed the whole module, and I had taken one day of test calls!!!!!

They didnt even offer me a private one hour session to test me live!!!! They dont care!!! So if youre up to sacrificing everything so to speak, cause they will not take excuses that are not even in your control, then you can go ahead and work with NTI!!!! I just payed $123 of the phone and only have $30 till last week in my checking account. And do you think they had the heart to understand that I have been for 11 months unemployed, no sir, not at all. I had to wait 4 whole months for the job, I had to install a home phone, buy a phone with a headset, invest from 12-4 for training for 10 days for nothing!!!! Now im jobless again, theyre a legal company but they dont take crap, not even personal crap that you cannot control!!! So if you wanna work for them knock yourself out, If you get a power outage, poor you and on the last day!!! Im telling you they dont care, oh and HR doesnt take phone calls nobody takes phone calls there its all by email, way inpersonal for human resources if you ask me!!! Well hope this helps, and girl im not the only who has had problems with NTI, its just they have a lot of good things going on for employees, so nobody wants to come and talk about their dark side!!!!
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Re: Anyone Ever Heard of the National Telecommuting Institute?

Postby Jim624 on Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:21 pm

WAH WAH WAH............

NTI is a Great Company to work for...........don't blame them if you do not meet their criteria for the job......and most of all they have no control over your power outage. I hope you found a job where they take whiners, cuz you would not of lasted at NTI for a minute
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Re: Anyone Ever Heard of the National Telecommuting Institute?

Postby nunna3rd on Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:52 am

Jim624 wrote:WAH WAH WAH............

NTI is a Great Company to work for...........don't blame them if you do not meet their criteria for the job......and most of all they have no control over your power outage. I hope you found a job where they take whiners, cuz you would not of lasted at NTI for a minute



Wow. That wasn't a nice comment at all. I don't think he or she was whinning just trying tell their experience. Let's remember that we are not here to bash any of the other members on the forum.
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Re: Anyone Ever Heard of the National Telecommuting Institute?

Postby disabled lady on Sun May 24, 2009 8:25 am

I too have had dealings with NTI and also wondering is this isnt a scam in the works for when I went to log into the nticentral.org website, I now receive a " You have reached the future home of:
www.nticentral.org This website is hosted at Gate.com - The Home of Smarter Hosting." When I google the the formal title - National Telecommuting Institute - the list is several, each website with a different address! I went to the MA BBB site since that is the physical address shown on all of their information on ALL of the different websites. There is a listing on them at the BBB, they are not an accredited business with a B rating (which I must confess I didnt take time to investigate). Their US Postal mail had been returned and there is only 1 employee noted.
I was refered to NTI from my Illinois Dept of Human Services VR who is helping me find part-time work since I am disabled and can not work full time. According to the information initally posted on the NTI website (www.nticentral.org), they only found employment for the disabled; that if you were not disabled, they would not help anyone else. But I see from at least one other poster on here, that is not true or it wasnt in 2008, that they were helping unemployed persons also.
Here is my sceanio with NTI: I completed the necessary test, had my pre interview interview with Mr. Elvis Mszier, made sure my VR was in contact with Mr. Strugis, did the second batch of tests and was to review which jobs I was interested in and to submit an email of inquiry for it. This is where the problem arose as I can not check to see what jobs are now available (since I started this process at the beginning of the month) as there is no website to check! My hold up was going to both a telephone line which they required with unlimited long distance service and the high speed internet service of which I would be needing. I informed my VR of this and the IL Dept of Human Services only pay for the 1st three months for service once I had gotten a job. Thank goodness I had not contracted my locat cable company to start the installation process for those two service as I also do not have the money to spend out of my budget for that type of comfort! I live on a small socsec income and a little bit of additional private income a month but in no way to cover an additonal $80+/mo. With gasoline, electricity and other utilities going up, along with food prices rising, I thought why not utilize my mind with a work-at-home job. I had looked at other promoted on the internet and was wary about the scams you hear about. I thought this situation was my bet to having food to eat along with staying cool and being able to breath this summer. Not with this happening, I am at a loss!
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Re: Anyone Ever Heard of the National Telecommuting Institute?

Postby kimg8 on Sun May 24, 2009 11:07 pm

Hello......

Question 1: What is NTI?

Answer: National Telecommuting Institute (NTI) is a distance training/job-matching non-profit organization which develops telework jobs for Americans with disabilities. NTI staff bring together employers who have agreed to hire remote workers, advanced telecommunications technology, and clients of state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies to enable individuals with disabilities to train for and work online in environments that are more easily accessible to them.

NTI prepares qualified individuals with disabilities primarily for work as customer service representatives taking orders, resolving billing issues, providing product or service information, technical support or reservations. Current and former NTI clients work for companies such as Ticket Master, Home Shopping Network, Alamo, AAA Emergency Roadside Assistance, Lens Express, Staples, 800 Flowers, the IRS, the 800 Medicare Hotline and the Department of Labor.
Question 2: How do you define Telework?

Answer: Telework is work that an employee performs from an off-site location, usually the employee's home, over a telephone line. Unlike independent contractors or small-business owners, teleworkers are W-2 employees. The employer withholds taxes and pays statutory benefits. Sometimes they provide health and welfare benefits as well. Telework wages are typically much more dependable than home business earnings.
Question 3: What kinds of telework positions is NTI filling now?

Answer: We're in the midst of filling 100 telework jobs with a major retailer in the Midwest. They employ home-based agents to answer customer questions about product availability and store hours and locations. We're also recruiting another 100 individuals to work for a Florida-based company as quality control monitors. They will listen to thousands of other agents taking calls and grade them on how well they handle the interactions with their callers. Later this summer we'll be recruiting several hundred home-based individuals with disabilities to take orders for IRS Forms and Publications. And we just filled 20 telework positions with the 1-800-Medicare hotline at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

It's important to note that in most cases virtual agents can live anywhere in the country and perform these jobs.
Question 4: Is NTI just for people with disabilities?

Answer: Yes, NTI serves only people with disabilities. We work primarily with clients of state vocational rehabilitation agencies or individuals who are willing to become clients of their state VR agencies. We work with VR agencies because:

1. VR agencies pay training/support fees to NTI on behalf of their clients, so that the individuals do not have to pay.
2. VR agencies will usually pay for the equipment and services their clients will require to work from home, such as replacing or upgrading a personal computer or installing high-speed Internet access. Each VR agency decides what they will pay for on a case-by-case basis.
3. Employers who hire NTI's clients can receive a Work Opportunity Tax Credit if they hire individuals the VR agency certifies as having a disability.

Question 5: What sort of qualifications must people have to perform these customer service telework jobs?

Answer: Individuals must have experience using the Internet and email. They also have to be able to type at least 20 words per minute. Many jobs also require a pleasant voice and good phone etiquette. Call center agents must have a clear, audible voice and be good listeners. However, we also place individuals in quality assurance jobs that require only good listening skills and attention to detail, and not a clear speaking voice. NTI and our call center partners provide the job specific training.
Question 6: Are these jobs in which VR consumers can make a living and get off Social Security benefits?

Answer: Yes, if that is their choice. Some employers will accept applications only from people willing to work full-time. Those individuals will get off benefits.

However, many of the applicants referred to us by VR agencies have very severe disabilities and don't have the stamina for full-time work. Fortunately, most of our participating call center employers allow part-time work as a reasonable accommodation. Those taking part-time jobs usually stay on benefits.
Question 7: What career path do you offer someone starting with a $9-per-hour part-time call center job?

Answer: Individuals who perform well can move up to more demanding and higher-paying call center work. Some of our government jobs pay as much as $17 per hour. Some employees have become call center supervisors or quality control specialists.

NTI facilitates these job transitions as a part of our basic service. And, of course, some people will use call center wages to pay bills as they build their own home-based business. We're committed to offering choices to home-based people with disabilities. These choices will increase as the number of virtual work options increases.
Question 8: We've all seen the commercials that say you can “get rich by working from home.” How do you convince both individuals with disabilities and VR counselors that NTI is not one of these scams?

Answer: We explain that NTI is a non-profit organization that has worked to provide jobs for people with disabilities for more than 10 years. We have large contracts with leading corporations and government agencies like the IRS. People don't become rich in these jobs. They do make competitive wages, usually ranging from $9-14, and the work is steady. We're a certified VR vendor in 31 states right now, which means we've undergone quite a bit of scrutiny from central VR offices. Most importantly for VR agencies, we operate under a performance-based payment system. If we're are not success in assist a consumer with their telework goal, we don't charge the VR agency anything.
Question 9: How are people trained for these jobs?

New employees are trained online directly in their homes. A typical training session is 4-6 hours per day, with a number of breaks. The training lasts from 1-4 weeks, depending on the complexity of the calls the agents will handle.

Students dial into a conference call "bridge" so that they can hear and speak with their instructor and fellow trainees. At the same time, they also connect with their instructor over the Internet using web conferencing software such as WebEx. They can see the instructor's computer screen as she talks to them. Then, as the instructor explains each part of the application, she can demonstrate how to enter information or how to search databases for information.

When it's time to role play, the instructor flips a switch so that everyone in the virtual class can watch as one student plays the role of the agent while another student acts as the caller. The training is the same as if the 8-15 students were sitting in the same classroom instead of in their homes in 10 different states. The students are paid while enrolled in this job-specific training.
Question 10: Who is the employer for these teleworkers?

Answer: The situation varies. Occasionally, the company operating the call center puts the teleworker on its payroll.

More often, NTI is the employer of record in a co-employment arrangement with the call center company. One of the benefits NTI provides its call center clients is a national virtual workforce unburdened by the paperwork involved in being a multi-state employer. Even when NTI is the employer of record, however, the call center client is responsible for the day-to-day management and control of the individual agents.

Sometimes NTI is the sole employer. This situation occurs when NTI handles outsourced federal work under the Javits-Wagner-O'Day (JWOD) Program.

There is no relationship between the employer-employee arrangement and the length of time an employee can expect to hold his or her job. Other than the occasional seasonal contract, we intend all telework positions to be long-term.
Question 11: What is the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Program?

Answer: The JWOD Act, which Congress passed in 1938, provides employment opportunities for Americans with severe disabilities. It directs federal government organizations to buy products and services from participating community-based nonprofit agencies dedicated to training and employing individuals with disabilities.
Question 12: JWOD has come under recent attack in the Senate, who point out that fewer than 6 percent of workers in the program were being placed into mainstream jobs. How do you answer the critics?

Answer: NTI does not place people with disabilities in sheltered workshops nor do we pay sub-minimum wages. Almost all of our jobs are with large mainstream companies or government agencies and wages are always competitive for the industry. NTI's goal is to give people with disabilities choices. Via NTI they can work from anywhere in the country in a location that is most accessible for them. Needless to say, those who prefer to travel to a central location to perform their work would look to employers in their local area. They would choose not to use NTI.
Questions 13: How is NTI funded?

Historically NTI was primarily grant funded and we still rely on grants to fuel our growth. Federal agencies such as the Dept of Education and Dept of Labor have funded NTI's telework research. NTI has received support from private foundations such as Mott, AT&T, Robert Wood Johnson and Fidelity. As NTI is beginning to achieve economies of scale, fees collected from VR agencies are starting to play a more important role. NTI charges VR agencies a $3,300 training/support fee contingent upon the consumer achieving at least 90 days in telework employment. NTI is also generating revenue from federal telework contracts acquired under the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Program.
Question 14: If I want to apply for an NTI job what should I do?

Answer: First, go to our website at www.nticentral.org and click on the "Apply for Jobs" button. That will take you to a page listing all the current job openings. Even if you're not interested in or qualified for the jobs that are open at the moment, go ahead and apply if you meet the general requirements. NTI contacts every applicant within 10 business days of receiving an application and conducts a phone interview to assess the candidate's qualifications and needs. Our staff provides applicants with suggestions on how to become a VR client if they aren't one already.

Most importantly, we'll put the applicant's information in our database. Unlike organizations that say "we'll keep your application on file" and never call, NTI contacts applicants as job openings occur. We go to our database first as job orders come in, and we expect to be able to place most of the qualified candidates who apply.
Question 15: If VR counselors have consumers who they believe need home-based work, what should they do?

Answer: Again, check the NTI website at www.nticentral.org. Click on the "VR Counselors" button, which takes you to a section only for VR counselors. Make sure that NTI is on your agency's approved vendor list. NTI is currently listed as an approved vendor with 31 state agencies. If your state is already on the list, you can simply refer consumers to the NTI website to apply online. If NTI is not an approved vendor in your state, we ask either the counselor or a central office administrator to email NTI with information about the vendor approval process for their state. When we're invited to apply, NTI pursues vendor approval in that state.
Question 16: What's on the horizon for NTI?

Answer: NTI is riding the wave of the telecommuting revolution within the call center industry. We're currently developing telework jobs for hundreds of people with disabilities each year. Our goal is to turn that number into thousands.
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Re: Anyone Ever Heard of the National Telecommuting Institute?

Postby Pam3 on Sun May 31, 2009 11:33 pm

Hi, Yes I have heard of NTI. From what I have heard, it is a company riding the wave of telemarketing and cashing in on premiums paid by the government to hire the disabled. However, I believe it will be discovered that their interest is not in hiring the disabled but in meeting the requirements to get the premiums. From what I have found many disabled are let go once they work long enough for NTI to receive the payment for "helping them" find work. Then NTI is free to hire someone new to start the process again?
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Re: Anyone Ever Heard of the National Telecommuting Institute?

Postby Lynn14227 on Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:26 pm

I have heard of National Telecommuting Institue. Matter of fact I "passed" their testing. I recieved a phone call today from a gentleman named David. Asked me if when I would have a few minutes available for a phone interview. I told him I was available to speak now, but he made it sound like he was in a hurry said he had another appointment and would call me on Wednesday at 10:30 est. There website seems legit and I was actually getting my hopes up until I started reading the comments posted here now i am worried. :(
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Re: Anyone Ever Heard of the National Telecommuting Institute?

Postby Lynn14227 on Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:44 pm

Actually doing more researcher just I found this site: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/TakeControlOf ... 388&page=1
Where GMA is recommending NTI for people with disablities.
Also, on the NTI website I found this information: http://www.nticentral.org/about/n0500.shtm
So, I am feeling better. Whew :D

Ok..follow up to previous post. I had my interview with David at NTI and was informed that he could not hire me because I did not receive Social Securtiy Disability or Social Security Income. I also need a VR consuler. So, Guess NTI is out for me even though I have Mulitple Scelrosis. :?
Last edited by Lynn14227 on Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Anyone Ever Heard of the National Telecommuting Institute?

Postby Scarthingwell on Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:00 am

Some of these posts above from the newbies smell a little like reputation management to me.
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Re: Anyone Ever Heard of the National Telecommuting Institute?

Postby humgrown on Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:06 am

I was hired, and worked for NTI (A long with about 75 other people) for 2-1/2 years. We were farmed out to a company out of Fort Lauderdale, FL called " The Answer Group ". And after the government money dried up, so did all of our jobs. I did notice on their(NTI) web site that they were hiring 100 new people for the same positions. I felt the issue was with the company out of Florida who was responsible for the termination of all the at-homers. TAG is one of NTI's biggest clients and is the main company that they farm the disabled at-homers to.
If you take a job with NTI "Don't" work for TAG unless you just want something temporary.
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Re: Anyone Ever Heard of the National Telecommuting Institute?

Postby ladybug on Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:22 am

The issue with a lot of these companies (not NTI so much but the companies they provide the workers for) is that quite often THEY get grants to create jobs for certain classes of employees. If they hire employees full-time, to the government, they are no longer creating jobs.

My brother had a similar sort of job and they kept him for two years and then the government said well, we thought you were creating jobs for people so we gave you this money, but you haven't created any jobs, you're just paying your staff, so they FIRED my brother (who was then unemployed) and HIRED somebody new so they could get their grant money but in the government's eyes they had just created a job and so were allowed to keep receiving the grant money.
:shock:

Now, I'm not saying it's the same thing here, but it could be?
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Re: Anyone Ever Heard of the National Telecommuting Institute?

Postby PaulSchlegel on Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:51 pm

Lynn14227 wrote:Actually doing more researcher just I found this site: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/TakeControlOf ... 388&page=1
Where GMA is recommending NTI for people with disablities.
Also, on the NTI website I found this information: http://www.nticentral.org/about/n0500.shtm
So, I am feeling better. Whew :D

Ok..follow up to previous post. I had my interview with David at NTI and was informed that he could not hire me because I did not receive Social Securtiy Disability or Social Security Income. I also need a VR consuler. So, Guess NTI is out for me even though I have Mulitple Scelrosis. :?


I'm curious about your experience with MS as I have a disability telecommuting resources section on my site.

Is it common for people with MS to have trouble qualifying for disability income compared to other forms of disabity that qualify?
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Re: Anyone Ever Heard of the National Telecommuting Institute?

Postby terraphotography on Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:26 pm

Oh man, I have an earful about this company. Their web site stinks, their phone system stinks. You can't talk to anyone in person unless they call you first and leave a callback number. Any correspondence has to be done through email and it all goes to Tech Support, no customer service email. When they send you a test to take for a prospective job, 9 times out of 10 it has already expired.

I registered about a year ago with them and went through the initial interview process as far as computer knowledge, computer equipment, the whole nine yards. Then I waited and waited and waited and waited for a job opportunity to post on the web site. I think I waited about 4 months and then decided to start looking on my own. About another 4 - 5 months went by and I decided to try them again. By now I had updated my computer equipment and my phone number had changed. I wanted to send along this new information to them to update my records. No where on the web site does it say how to accomplish this. When you call the 866 number, all you get is an audio response system, and when you wait and finally get an agent, all you get is voice mail where you have to leave a message. You're lucky to get a call back. So, I sent an email to Tech Support and four days letter got a response from HR. I replied with my new information so they could update my records.

Just recently I sent an email to let them know there was a job that I was interested in. About 5 days later I got an email that had a link to a test I had to take. Well, when I clicked on the link, I found out that the test had expired two days earlier! I sent another email to Tech Support, asking why I had been sent a test that had already expired. I did not get a reply. Then I got a call from a David Lewis, a recruiter, who left a message saying that my older phone number was no longer working and they had been trying to get in touch with me. So much for sending in my new information!! I called this guy back and read him the riot act. I basically told him that the company was worthless, that the web site was a joke, that I should not have received a test that had expired, etc, etc, etc. He told me I needed an attitude adjustment and that I did not have a professional attitude. Excuse me??? When I told him I had sent in my updated phone number via email, and then asked why it had not been updated on their system, he asked me if I had sent in an updated resume. There are no instructions on the web site that explains how to accomplish that or even saying that that's how they do it! And, since you can't talk to anyone in person, you can't update your information that way either!! Mr. Lewis told me they do everything via email and I think that is a lousy way to provide customer service. It's a great way to avoid accepting responsibility for all the errors and lack of follow through, if you ask me. I pretty much told him that I had had issues and complaints with the company when I initially registered with them, and came back to give them a second chance, and still have issues and complaints about them. He tried to tell me that they had sent a revised test to me when I complained that I had received the one that expired, and I never got anything else from them. It does not make any sense to me that a person has to send in a complete resume just to update a phone number.

Good luck to anyone who has dealings with them as far as jobs go. I've told them to take me out of their system as I wish to have nothing more to do with them. I've seen other postings here that speculate that they are only it in for the money from Social Security and I can't help but wonder if that is indeed the case.
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Re: Anyone Ever Heard of the National Telecommuting Institute?

Postby elzohoor on Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:57 am

You have to be disabled and have a VR (Vocational Rehab) counselor in order to qualify, so not just anyone can work for them. It is a great program for someone that is disabled and has a hard time getting around to work outside the home. And NTI contracts with VR counselors. After you go through the interview and testing process, they refer you back to your VR counselor so that program can pay the costs associated with the program. That is the ONLY way to work for NTI.

Hope this helps!
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