Workforce Education

Is cross-cultural communication a challenge in your workplace?

The Need

For many workers new to America, different cultures and limited-English skills can pose great barriers to understanding in the workplace. Through our Workforce Education program, Adult Options In Education works with businesses to remove these barriers.

Adult Options In Education works with employers to identify basic skills the employer wishes to reinforce in the workplace. Some examples include:

  • Math skills for retail.
  • Improving English skills for a manufacturing company.
  • Identifying and discussing cultural differences that may be interfering with expectations and communication.

 

The Assessment

Essential to the education plan is devising an evaluation tool to measure--in tangible ways--progress and/or impediments to learning. For example: Are there fewer reports of tardiness? Fewer accidents on the job? Greater productivity? These are specific measures that determine whether or not the education plan is effective.

We begin by testing work site learners with carefully selected assessment tools. Based on outcomes, a program is designed that meets learners' education/employment needs. All testing takes place on the work site.

The Instruction

We teach English as a Second Language (ESL) and provide cultural insight into basic American and Minnesota daily experiences.

Being on time has different meanings in different cultures. Being on time in most American work settings means arriving at or a few minutes before the scheduled time. Normally, there are consequences for not arriving on time.

We teach appropriate conversational slang to help learners understand their new communities. For example, "It's raining cats and dogs" may conjure up a perplexing image for those with limited-English speaking abilities!

The Resources

All of our teachers are Minnesota-licensed teachers with a wide range of adult teaching experiences.

Because Adult Options In Education is supported through the Hopkins, Minnetonka and St. Louis Park school districts, access is available to many state-of-the-art programs and services.

Contact

For more information about Workforce Education, or to schedule a meeting to learn more about how we might serve your work place needs you can contact us by phone or by email.
Phone: 952-988-5343
Email: adult.options@hopkinsschools.org

The Process of setting up a Workforce Education Program

A Workforce Education Program sounds like just what I need, but now what?
Here’s what the process of implementing a Workforce Education Program with Adult Options In Education will entail:

  1. Read through the "things to think about" section below.
  2. Call 952-988-5343. Talk to our workforce coordinator about moving forward or receiving more information about a Workforce Education Program.
  3. Our workforce coordinator will meet with you to outline the details of implementing a program and tour the facility.
  4. An assessment of your workforce education needs will take place. Meetings with supervisors and managers will be set up to discuss desired learner goals and outcomes.
  5. Each learner will be assessed in their reading, writing, and speaking skills. This is done to ensure the proper level of English instruction is developed. This initial assessment will also help to track employees’ progress. There is a nominal fee for the assessment.
  6. A customized Workforce Education Program will be developed for your business according to your specific needs and desired outcomes.

Things to think about...

  • How many employees would participate in the program?
  • Who do you want trained?
  • Who will recruit learners? Or, how many employees have expressed interest in attending training?
  • How will you choose the employees?
  • Will participation be voluntary or mandatory? (Most practitioners strongly recommend that participation be voluntary.)
  • Will the employees receive pay to attend classes? If not, what will be the employees’ motivation to attend classes regularly?
  • Will classes be offered during regular work hours, or before or after work? (If training does not occur during regular work hours and at the work site, issues such as childcare, transportation, and remuneration must also be resolved.)
  • Who will be the company contact—someone who can unlock a door, find the learners, answer a question, etc.?
  • Where (site and room) will the classes be held?
  • How will instructional gain be measured?
  • Will you want immersion (i.e., all English instruction taught in English only) or bilingual instruction? (Often, those will very-limited English proficiency may benefit from explanations of workplace procedures and training in their native language. )
  • What are the main goals and objectives of the training?
  • What outcomes do you expect upon completion?
  • Why do you want language training now?