Capital One End of Class Celebration
LCNV is proud to see its Destination Workforce® program gaining momentum with local employers who recognize the promise and potential of their limited English speaking employees. At its heart, this program aims to reduce barriers and provide greater opportunities for English learners who are entering or already in the workforce to improve their language and soft skills and advance in their jobs. With courses tailored to the industries and companies that employ junior level English learning staff and offered onsite at the company’s preferred time, Destination Workforce® is immediately relevant to learners and employers, resulting in improved on-the-job performance, customer experiences, and employee loyalty.
LCNV found in B.F. Saul Company Hospitality Group its first corporate Destination Workforce® partner at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Tysons Corner, which brought this professional development program to its team members in 2017 and 2018-2019. When Capital One learned of this partnership and its impact – increased revenue at its restaurants; employee named company-wide “Employee of the Year” – they took the initiative to bring Destination Workforce® to their Headquarters office in Tysons. Capital One garnered the interest of its partners at Restaurant Associatesand Jones Land LaSalle (JLL), bringing opportunities to employees at the food service and maintenance workers at their Tysons campus. The class launched in April with a focus on improving customer and supervisor communications and enrolled 15 employees – on the clock. The session wrapped up on July 25 after 62 instructional hours with an inspiring celebration during which LCNV’s instructional team presented each learner with certificates and superlatives. Class Aide, Glen Finland said, “If I had to choose any single vocabulary word to describe this group of committed students, that word would be ‘professionalism.’ First we defined it, next we role played it, and then we demanded it from each other as we demonstrated how and when to use it in the workplace, in our communities, and even in our private lives.” Capital One’s Lindsey Stem, who spearheaded this partnership, and her colleagues Nicole Hansen (Restaurant Associates), and Adriana Niño (JLL) who each lead the effort of identifying employees to participate in the course offered the class words of encouragement and pride. Other Restaurant Associates and JLL supervisors also attended the celebration, showing authentic support for their hard working and dedicated employees. One of the supervisors even spoke of how his staff never used to approach him to ask anything, and now they are asking him when they can take the next class!
TFG End of Class Celebration. Left: Claire's Class; Right: Tamia and Her Students
Celebrity chef JoséAndrés’ Think Food Group (TFG) expressed early interest in Destination Workforce® thanks to an Accenture pro-bono team’s market research to help LCNV identify prospective employer partners. TFG had tried other ways to improve the English skills of their back and front of the house employees with limited success and HR Manager Donna Giarratana saw in Destination Workforce® a program that would be targeted to their company culture and industry, and offer their long-tenured employees well-deserved recognition. With so many restaurants in the DMV area, TFG carefully worked to find the right combination of location and time to allow for the most employees to participate. 16 staff from Chino Chilcano, Jaleo Bethesda, and Oyamel enrolled with the support of their supervisors and restaurant managers. The program launched in July and served two different learning levels with a focus on interpersonal communications, describing their work, and the Think Food Group brand and culture. Employees who never had the courage to speak with the HR Manager before are now engaging in conversations and making requests with confidence! On September 26, after 55 hours of instruction, the two cohorts came together to celebrate their achievements with TFG’s Chief People Officer Eduardo Sanabia giving opening remarks on the TFG values that motivated them to bring Destination Workforce® to their team. Tamia and Claire, Lead Teachers for each of the two cohorts, led the presentation of certificates and invited each learner to introduce themselves and share a little bit about their background and tenure at TFG. Many took the opportunity to sincerely thank TFG for making the choice to invest in their education and training with Destination Workforce®.
The HR team at City of Alexandria’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs (RPCA)took the initiative to search for local ESL providers for their employees. Hearing of LCNV’s Beginning English language classes at the William Ramsay Recreation Center, LaWan Croswell, RPCA’s Human Resources Liaison reached out to inquire about contextualized courses for RPCA’s English learning facilities and park maintenance crew. This new partnership kicked off with an intimate celebration and registration event on October 1st, where Jim Spengler, Director of RPCA shared the Department’s search forways to uplift, develop, and support its hard working team members and their excitement at finding Destination Workforce®.
As Destination Workforce® continues to expand with new employers across various industries, we recognize a shift in corporate training practices that had not traditionally targeted junior level immigrant employees and celebrate those employers who are paving the way for others to follow.
City of Alexandria RPCA kick-off event