With U.S. borders opening up more and more every year, month and day (whether documented, undocumented, migrants, immigrants, etc.) we must address the issue of making those entering our country proficient and not deficient in order that whomever enters into America will be able to independently thrive legally in an orderly and productive society—-mentally, physically, spiritually and economically.
While preparing for immigrant children is a priority, a greater priority is in enabling their parents to become self-sufficient in meeting the needs of their families. The Palm Beach Literacy Coalition through its Workplace and Community Education Program provides customized instruction for adults who need help improving their English language skills, obtaining a GED or addressing specific workplace needs. Classes are provided at workplace and community sites throughout the county by trained adult education instructors. Classes are tailored to each particular site and the skill levels of the students. The adult students, who attend classes twice a week, develop literacy skills to prepare them for enhanced employment opportunities and/or future education.
This is a great opportunity for businesses (small businesses in particular) to be two fold in assisting themselves with a variety of employee prospects and in doing so, help the community to grow and produce citizens that can be a plus overall to our American family with the talents, skills and interesting cultures they bring and share for us all to embrace, respect and lean so that greatness comes and remains when we stick together as the United States of America.
The following is an example of the importance of workplace and community education as it appears on the Palm Beach Literacy Coalition website:
WORKPLACE AND COMMUNITY EDUCATION PROGRAM IMPACT
Sebastian is from Gladbeck, Germany and has been in the United States for only five months. Sebastian came to South Florida to work in the Food and Beverage service department of Frenchman’s Creek Country Club. After working in a restaurant and hotel in Germany, Sebastian was ready to take his hospitality skills to the next level at a high-end country club. Sebastian knew the ins and outs of restaurant service in Germany. In the United States, though, he had to take an entry-level position. When he arrived for his first day of work at Frenchman’s Creek Country Club, he understood why. Sebastian realized that he still had a great deal to learn in terms of the English language and American culture. Serving members and guests with the highest expectations can be difficult when you are unable to communicate with English-speaking patrons.
Sebastian decided to take advantage of the offer of Literacy Coalition’s English classes and became one of 12 employees at Frenchman’s Creek Country Club to sign up for the class. In the weekly sessions, the students work to improve their English skills, while increasing their understanding of Frenchman’s Creek’s standards and customer service. When Sebastian started the classes, he lacked confidence in his speaking abilities and struggled with pronunciation. He couldn’t understand some of the club members when they ordered a meal or made a special request about its preparation.
The Human Resources Assistant Manager expressed her gratitude for the program and noted how much the students had improved. She was very impressed with Sebastian’s newfound confidence and his ability to express himself clearly and carry on a full conversation. Supervisors have reported improved service skills from class attendees and increased member satisfaction. Sebastian now rarely has to ask a guest to repeat an order and feels much empowered. He loves being able to learn both hospitality English and general English vocabulary and is excited about learning American idioms. Sebastian came to the United States to learn and experience the culture and he is proud of how much he has accomplished.
To speak with someone about starting a workplace program at your site, call Palm Beach Literacy Coalition (800) 273-1030 or email us today.
REF: Palm Beach Literacy Coalition Website