Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Company Provides English Lessons for Workers!

From Workforce Management: Online grocer FreshDirect has partnered with LaGuardia Community College in New York City to offer 60 plant workers free weekly English classes.

The 30-hour program will end on October 23. One class begins at 4:15 a.m. to accommodate workers who start their workday at 6:30 a.m. These workers cut fish and meat, enter shipping data entries, sort, prepare and package food for 40,000 weekly orders at FreshDirect’s 300,000-square-foot plant. For the rest of the article, see http://www.workforce.com/section/00/article/25/76/31.php

Kim's note: This is a step in the right direction. It is heartening to see a company facilitate communications by providing language classes instead of imposing language bans and divisive "English-Only" policies.

Why not provide English classes to workers as a benefit all year long? Couldn't companies already providing benefits add this as an option on a "cafeteria plan" where workers can pick from a selection of benefits?

After all, some of these cafeteria plans include pet insurance. Surely some language classes, including English and Spanish, would help bridge the language barriers in workforces all over the country.

Admire all the workers who attend this class at 4:15 am, before their shifts start for their long day of handling fish and meat for 40,000 orders. They're not seeking a free ride or special treatment. They want to learn English - and they are willing to do it at 4 in the morning!

Thanks to the Company and Kudos to the Workers!!!!

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