English Works aims to ensure that more businesses—both large and small and across multiple industries—recognize that ESOL is important to their success, and that viable options and resources are available to support their workforce. The Campaign’s diverse stakeholder base is central to promoting the campaign’s message and elevating the urgency of the issue.
Business and civic leaders are encouraging businesses to become true partners in supporting ESOL opportunities for limited English proficient workers, and to make these partnerships integral to their business strategy. They are reaching out to their membership, facilitating business-to-business communication, and using their own media to highlight success stories, providers and other resources. Similarly, labor groups are promoting deeper and broader engagement in ESOL by union locals and pushing for contracts that support English classes.
ESOL students and workers are helping to identify business partners, participating in outreach and education events, and, over time, beginning to request English classes at work. Providers are reaching out to businesses that employ their students and developing their own capacity to work with businesses in new ways.
The English Works Campaign advocates for a Commonwealth education and workforce development system that incentivizes public-private collaboration. The Campaign calls for resources and tools that are better attuned toward the economic success of immigrants and businesses in Massachusetts, as follows:
- Establish a dedicated, permanent, and flexible fund to support work-based ABE/ESOL and to generate new employer investment.
- Increase the number of grants made by the MA Workforce Training Fund that provide immigrant workers with English skills to promote a positive, competitive economic environment.
- Increase funding for ABE/ESOL programs through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
- Better attune DESE ABE/ESOL programs to the needs of the immigrant workforce and critical industries in the Commonwealth.
- Support targeted capacity building services to ESOL providers with the goal of expanding organizational and teacher capacity to partner with businesses and provide work-based ESOL.
- All future state incentives to attract and retain businesses and to expand jobs in the Commonwealth should contain specific provisions and funding for workforce development, including ABE/ESOL for low-literacy and limited English proficient workers.
The English Works Campaign is a unique coalition of immigrant community leaders, labor unions, business and civic leaders, educators, and advocates across Massachusetts working toward a Commonwealth that provides all residents with a pathway to economic self-sufficiency; ensures a stable, skilled workforce for businesses; and integrates immigrants into the fabric of our economy, communities and shared civic life.
English Works recognizes the key role and contributions of immigrants to the Commonwealth. The campaign targets English proficiency as a critical tool for achieving economic success for immigrants and an essential ingredient to the growth and flexibility of our rapidly changing economy.
The English Works Campaign calls upon business, labor, community and government leaders to dedicate the needed public and private resources to create a sustainable, high-quality ESOL system that addresses the needs and interests of immigrant workers and their employers.
To learn more about the English Works Campaign, please contact Franklin Peralta at 617-982-6863 or firstname.lastname@example.org