July 7, 2010
South Texas College (STC), McAllen, Texas, has partnered with The Manufacturing Institute, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), and other regional partners to implement an English language proficiency program to boost literacy, educational attainment, and career advancement for workers in the Rio South Texas region.
The English for Manufacturing and the Skilled Trades Initiative is an English-acquisition program targeting underemployed and unemployed workers across Texas. Through the program, participants will develop core English-language skills required for entry-level careers in the region's developing rapid-response, advanced manufacturing work force.
"For U.S. manufacturers to stay competitive in today's complex global economy, we must remain committed to developing the talent and skills of the manufacturing work force and create strategies for each challenge they face," said Emily Stover DeRocco, president of The Manufacturing Institute. "Foundational skills such as English-language communication and applied math and science are necessary for all careers in manufacturing, and a worker who faces barriers in these areas will not be able to advance in the workplace."
Rio South Texas cities McAllen and Mission join initiative pilots already under way in Laredo, San Antonio, and Houston. In total, 350 Texas workers will be trained through the initiative.
STC's Institute for Advanced Manufacturing, representing the North American Advanced Manufacturing Research and Education Initiative, will manage the trainings for 45 workers from McAllen- and Mission-based companies.
The initiative training consists of an interactive, technology-based curriculum derived from the Sed de Saber language learning program. The program ensures functional acquisition of workplace communication skills, such as understanding directions and important health and safety measures, using proper manufacturing vocabulary, and reading and interpreting administrative forms.
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