- Learn about the training and education needs of important industries that you wish to work with. Each industry has different training and different organizational cultures that impact the delivery of training to meet those needs. Community-based organizations that demonstrate knowledge of what an industry or business needs are most likely to be hired to conduct the training.
- Learn about where your current students work. Collect and analyze data on where your current students work. Reach out to their employers to inform them about your capabilities and to explore the possibilities for workplace ESOL classes for their employees.
- Get the word out about your capabilities. Businesses are marketed to every week by for-profit education and training companies. Community-based organizations need to let businesses know about the experience they have in providing training services. Never assume that they know what you can do to meet their needs.
- Research public funding opportunities. Providing work-based ESOL education programs opens up a host of new funding opportunities including the Workforce Training Fund, Department of Education resources, and many others. It is important to remember that many of these funding sources require either the business partner to act as the lead applicant or for evidence of a strong partnership between the provider and business.
- Develop options that facilitate employer financial support of ESOL training. Working with employers to allow tuition reimbursement, or even better tuition advancement, for ESOL classes can greatly improve the likelihood of workers’ participation in needed education programs.