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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ETA News Release: [03/29/2010]
Contact Name: Michael Trupo or Lina Garcia
Phone Number: (202) 693-3414 or x4661
Release Number: 10-0401-NAT

US Department of Labor releases evaluation of Limited English Proficiency and Hispanic Worker Initiative pilot project

Report shows continued need for active engagement by employers and increased incentives for LEP program participants

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the release of a report evaluating the outcomes of the Limited English Proficiency and Hispanic Worker Initiative project grants launched four years ago. The report findings highlight both challenges and successes of a pilot project intended to develop language and training opportunities for workers with limited English proficiency skills. The report serves as a guide for future employment programs targeting individuals who are considered limited English proficient and provides insight for employers seeking to offer occupational skills to prepare workers for jobs in high-demand industries.

"In all instances — and especially where the nation's limited English proficient workers are concerned — effective communication and training are fundamental to creating job opportunities and maintaining overall global competitiveness for our workforce," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "This report on the Hispanic Worker Initiative pilot project is a valuable resource for every employer that partners with employees to create a program focused on the language and occupational skills necessary to ensure workplace safety and overall success."

In 2006, the Department of Labor created the initiative to support five demonstration grants through its Employment and Training Administration, with $4.9 million awarded to organizations in California, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York and Texas. The programs tested innovative strategies for delivering language and employment services to limited English proficient and Hispanic workers.

According to the report released today, factors critical to the success of the program include: active engagement by employers to adapt a curriculum tailored to meet their specific workplace requirements and the employer's ability to provide incentives for program completion to LEP and Hispanic program participants. Employers must be involved in creating or adapting vocational English as a second language curricula, recruiting participants and directing training activities. The report also highlights the fact that the English skills gained by participants improve both their chances of finding and retaining employment, and their ability to interact with co-workers and members of their communities.

To read the report, visit http://wdr.doleta.gov/research/keyword.cfm?fuseaction=dsp_resultDetails&pub_id=2438&mp=y. For more information on the range of Department of Labor employment and training programs, visit http://www.doleta.gov.