Saturday, September 20, 2008

More workers need English as a second language training

Another report showing that proficiency in English is necessary to get ahead in the workplace. It is to the advantage of employers to fund these programs, they will be able to have better trained employees too. DP

By Bill Kirk, Eagle-Tribune LAWRENCE — A new report shows that many workers in the state don't speak adequate English, which is holding them back from advancing in their jobs and making it harder for some companies to succeed.

The report, issued by the state's Workforce Investment Board, says the state and private employers need to fund a program to teach workers English and other job skills that would improve their chances of getting ahead while also improving the overall workforce in the state.

"We know that adult literacy and basic education are absolutely essential to a person's ability to earn a decent wage," said Suzanne Bump, secretary of Labor and Workforce Development. "We must create a better framework for providing adult-basic education and training that ensures working adults can get the training they need, and do so without having to confront countless barriers, which for too long has been the case."

The Workforce Investment Board released the report during a Wednesday morning meeting in Lawrence attended by Bump and Gov. Deval Patrick, along with other local and state officials and area business leaders. The meeting was held at Sal's Riverwalk on Merrimack Street.

The report comes on the heels of a study released two years ago showing that if not for the rising immigrant population in the state, the workforce in Massachusetts would have shrunk in recent years. According to that study, 70 percent of those immigrants lacked adequate English literacy skills. Another study, done in 2001, calculated that more than 3 million people in the state lack proficient English-speaking skills.

Meanwhile, many of them are working multiple jobs and raising families, the report says, meaning they don't have the time to attend English as a Second Language programs.
Be sure to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

1 comment:

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