The English Empowerment Center’s Destination Workforce® classes teach adults the English skills they need to improve their employability and empower them to participate more fully and confidently in the workplace. These classes are customized to fit the needs of the employer and develop the specific language skills employees need to advance. These organizations recognize the great amount of potential in their employees and chose to make an investment in their futures through professional development opportunities. This semester, we have the privilege of working with Alexandria Restaurant Partners and Marymount University.
Alexandria Restaurant Partners owns and manages 9 restaurants in Northern Virginia and Florida with the goal to be the best in the nation by achieving operational excellence, leading with integrity, and being transparent. This is our second time working with ARP to offer English language education to employees of different Alexandria restaurants. Our first time working with ARP was last spring semester. They were thrilled with how the class went, informing us that following the class, one staff member was promoted to Sous-chef and another to Executive Chef. ARP reached out again this fall to coordinate holding another Destination Workforce® class for Alexandria restaurant employees. The program has been developed to fit the specific English language needs of ARP employees who are working towards earning a promotion or have recently been promoted. English Empowerment Center’s Instructional Design Manager, Soo Park, researched the field and met with ARP leadership to discuss and create the class curriculum. This Destination Workforce® class is taught by English Empowerment Center instructor, Laurie Hayden, who has been able to see the great difference English language education can bring to the individuals enrolled.
This semester is our first time working with Marymount University to bring Destination Workforce® classes to their dining services and housekeeping staff. Marymount is a comprehensive Catholic university in Arlington, VA, dedicated to personal and professional development. We started our relationship with Marymount in 2022 when English Empowerment Center Volunteer and Outreach Manager, Amy Tristan, met Marymount President, Irma Becerra, while attending Coffee with Women Leaders with Senator Tim Kaine. Irma Becerra was so impressed by Amy and the English Empowerment Center programs, leading to Marymount contacting us to coordinate a Destination Workforce® class for their staff this spring. The class curriculum was specifically designed by Soo Park to focus on the English language needs of 12 of their dining services and housekeeping staff who are at a beginning to high beginning English level. English Empowerment Center instructor, Jennifer Hine, along with three class aides, work with these varied level learners by providing group lessons and often breaking into smaller groups to work on their skills.
Destination Workforce® classes provide a unique opportunity for employees to access professional development and learn English. These employees can learn English language skills specific to their job needs and with a class of individuals with similar goals to their own. Both Alexandria Restaurant Partners and Marymount University pay their employees for time in class, removing a major barrier for many individuals who seek English education. Additionally, classes near or at their place of work, allows students to learn with less worries about access to transportation. Learners in Destination Workforce® classes have reported that the classes have greatly assisted them in their job. Employees can better communicate with supervisors and fellow staff, become more familiar with the names of items/tools used in the workplace, improve pronunciation, and gain confidence with their English skills. We are happy to work with these organizations who recognize the potential of their employees and are dedicated to their professional and personal development.
If you are interested in learning more about our Destination Workforce® program and how it may benefit your business, please contact Lisa Vaughn at lvaughn@EnglishEmpowermentCenter.org.