Sign on to the English Works Campaign

agrees to support and participate in the English Works Campaign.
As a signatory to English Works, our organization agrees to be listed on English Works materials and will have a seat on the Campaign Committee.
We enter into this voluntary agreement with English Works in a spirit of partnership and collaboration, and with a vision of a Commonwealth that provides all residents with a pathway to economic self-sufficiency; ensures a stable, skilled workforce for Massachusetts businesses today and in the future; and integrates immigrants into the fabric of our economy, communities and shared civic life.


Past Winners

State-Wide 2011

#1  Traditional Breads (Lynn)
          in partnership with Russian Community Association of MA

In June 2010, Traditional Breads and the Russian Community Association of MA began offering on-site English classes through a Learn at Work Program grant. After the first year of classes, 94% of participants demonstrated meaningful learning gains on standardized tests, safety incidents dropped 50% and shift supervisors have reported improved communications on their teams. Employees continue to report that they increasingly offer help to one another, and ask more questions to avoid mistakes. Shifts start times were adjusted in order to accommodate class schedules and temporary employees were utilized to address production concerns. From the beginning, Mr. Fitzroy Alexander, the company president, championed the effort: He ensured supervisors’ full support by addressing their concerns directly and agreed to match employees’ class time 100 percent (class time = one paid hour + one unpaid hour).

#2 Children’s Hospital (Boston) in partnership with JVS

Children’s Hospital Boston (CHB) has been a champion of on-site workplace ESOL education since 2001. CHB is a flagship member of the Healthcare Training Institute (HTI), a partnership of area hospitals, long-term care providers, JVS and local community colleges. Annually, CHB provides workplace ESOL classes at no cost to over 30 employees, providing opportunities to over 300 employees since 2001. These students come mainly from entry-level positions in transportation, environmental services, nutrition and food services. To enable employees to attend classes, CHB’s Workforce Development Department works closely with supervisors and managers to coordinate release time, changes in schedule, internships, clinical and many other services. CHB also shifted its tuition reimbursement policy to a tuition advancement policy to address the financial barriers many entry-level employees face in trying to continue their education.

#3  Christopher House of Worcester

Christopher House of Worcester has offered ESOL classes to its employees for over five years under a unique, innovative program. The skilled nursing facility has developed an in-house program at no cost to employees. The program is led by Betty Garabedian, a retired teacher with ESOL experience, who began by volunteering as a tutor in 2006, when her husband was a resident of Christopher House.  Classes now run for over 40 weeks per year, four hours per week. Students have exhibited greater confidence and control in their work tasks and are able to interact more effectively with supervisors, co-workers and residents. Over one third of the students have continued their education, obtaining higher-paying jobs. Several have become Certified Nursing Assistants and one has graduated from the LPN program. Christopher House is committed to sustaining the ESOL program into the future.

#4  The Harvard Bridge Program with SEIU 615, HUCTW and
        UNITE HERE! Local 26
(Boston)

The Harvard Bridge Program (HBP) was established in 1999 for service workers at Harvard University. Its mission is to provide staff and faculty at the University with the skills and confidence needed to excel in their current positions, meet their career goals and prosper in their personal lives. HBP offers a variety of classes ranging from low-literacy ESOL through advanced pronunciation. Classes and materials are free to employees. This program is funded through the Harvard Human Resources and the individual schools, and in partnership with different unions.  HBP offered 79 courses with 1065 enrollments serving 379 individuals, just in 2010.  In addition 90+ participants received career counseling and 70+ worked with tutors. The career counseling, job shadowing, and professional internship program has helped several individuals transition from service positions into professional track jobs. A recent economic impact study identified the following successes: 22 promotions, 44 new jobs, and 24 transitions to higher education. 

#5  Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (Stockbridge)
         in partnership with South Berkshire Educational Collaborative (SBEC)

Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge is committed to supporting its immigrant workforce by providing transferable training and increased opportunities for on-site language education and skills development.  Under a MA Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) grant, Kripalu began ESOL training in 2005 in partnership with SBEC and over the next five years, has provided three levels of English language training.  In addition, two Human Resources staff were trained by SBEC to lead level 1 ESOL classes. These initiatives have led to significant advancement, promotions and recognition of our employees.  Kripalu has continued to be supportive of our immigrant workers by allowing flexible schedules for those attending ESOL classes off-site. Kripalu recently received a Workforce Training Fund Program grant to continue supporting increased language skills among its employees and keep them on track for promotions and personal development.

#6  Lahey Clinic (Burlington)

Since its inception in 1995, the highly successful English as a Working Language Program (EWLP) at Lahey Clinic has served over 500 immigrant employees.  Graduates of the program have made career advancements, earned GED diplomas as well as college degrees, become mentors, supervisors and translators, and many have achieved US citizenship. The program’s wide-ranging suite of service goes from basic and intermediate literacy classes to assistance with the college application process. Lahey Clinic has funded this program for over 15 years, and permits employees to attend classes twice weekly on work time. A typical class with work release time is held twice a week for 50 minutes--the clinic provides 64 hours (32 weeks per year) of work release time for lower-level language speaking workers mainly from the Environmental Services and Food and Nutrition departments.

#7  The Langham Hotel (Boston)
          in partnership with YMCA International Learning Center

The Langham Hotel Boston under the leadership of Serge Denis, Managing Director, is committed to supporting the English language acquisition of its employees and began offering free, on-site ESOL classes to its employees in 2010 launching a partnership with the YMCA International Learning Center. Classes meet twice a week for a total of 40 hours of instruction per cycle. The Langham Hotel has offered two, 10-week sessions providing ESOL to a total of 18 employees. Participating employees come from a variety of departments including Housekeeping, Stewarding, Engineering and Bell Staff. As the employees’ level of English improves, they are more confident in dealing with guests and offering a higher level of engagement and service. As they progress, employees may also take advantage of opportunities to transfer to other departments within the hotel, where they will engage with guests more often or possibly be promoted within their department. The Langham Hotel is currently exploring grant funding support, to continue ESOL classes.

#8  Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston) in partnership with JVS

Mass General Hospital partners with JVS to provide free, on-site ESOL classes to approximately 100 employees each year. The program was established in 1992, and its curriculum emphasizes basic reading, writing and verbal skills to promote life-long learning. Six levels of ESOL instruction are offered beginning with Adult Literacy.  English for Academic Success, introduced this year, teaches advanced ESOL students studying techniques, note-taking, and other skills to successfully transition to pre-college coursework and/or technical training.  Instructors emphasize critical thinking and reading strategies at all levels. Role playing is used to develop conversational skills and computers to help with pronunciation. Classes follow an academic year, September to May, each with a total of 104 instructional hours. Students’ writings are captured in the ESOL Yearbook, distributed at the annual Celebration of Achievement. In 2010, 51 of the 103 participants advanced at least one level, two were promoted, 11 pursued additional classes including medical terminology, and seven became U.S. citizens.

#9  Melville Candy Corporation (Weymouth)
         in partnership with Massasoit Community College

Melville Candy Corporation began offering ESOL classes through a grant from the Workforce Training Fund Program in 2010, partnering with Massasoit Community College. The results of this instructional investment were evident in internal promotions for some of the students, greater efficiency at work and increased retention. Employees participating in ESOL classes work within different departments and perform various tasks: cooking, packing, labeling, etc. Instructors at Massasoit Community College customized lessons based on work material and job tasks. Employees who participated in the program were able to communicate much better amongst each other and with management, made this workplace ESOL class a big success for everybody involved.

#10  The MetroWest ESL Fund (Framingham)

The MetroWest ESL Fund was established in 1999 by a group of dedicated business leaders who were concerned about the huge number of people trying to get a spot in English classes at Framingham Adult ESL Plus. Over the past 12 years, the Fund has raised over $600,000 to support six classes and over 200 students per year at Framingham Adult ESL Plus. The members of the MetroWest ESL Fund represent many area businesses who realize the importance of an educated skilled workforce. The key to the Fund’s success is the support of a wide variety of companies including: Middlesex Savings Bank, Framingham Cooperative Bank, Bernardi Auto Group, Eastern Bank, TJX Companies, Day Pitney, BOSE, Metrowest Medical Center, The Baltic Group LLC, Belkin Family Lookout Farm, among many others.

 #11  Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries (Roxbury)
              in partnership with La Alianza Hispana

Since September 2010, Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries and La Alianza Hispana have partnered together under a Learn at Work Program grant to provide ESOL classes for Goodwill employees working in its distribution center. Employees meet in a designated classroom and computer lab at Goodwill and have access to basic and intermediate level classes. Before the program was initiated, employees with limited or no English language skills had difficulty communicating with their supervisors. With newly improved English language skills, these employees have increased motivation and productivity and feel much more satisfied in their jobs. This workplace ESOL program has been a highly successful partnership, which both parties commit to maintaining.

 #12  North Shore Medical Center (Salem) in partnership with JVS

North Shore Medical Center (NMSC) has been a model employer when it comes to a partnership in a workplace education program. The ESOL program, in collaboration with JVS, began in May 2010 and will run for three years, thanks to a grant under the Learn at Work Program from Commonwealth Corporation and DESE. Classes meet twice a week for 2 hours and run year-round and students are eager to learn and incorporate their increased English communication skills. Administrators from Human Resources, Support Services and Housekeeping worked tirelessly to assist with student recruitment and retention, attendance and the development of relevant curriculum. The strong collaboration between NSMC and JVS has allowed ESOL instructors to incorporate Bed Placement Technology and Kronos into the curriculum, integral processes for a housekeeper at NSMC.

#13  Notre Dame Health Care Center (Worcester)

Notre Dame Educational Bridge Center (NDEBC) is a unique program on the campus of the Notre Dame Health Care Center in Worcester and funded by the Intercare Alliance of Worcester and the Sisters of Notre Dame Congregation. It serves the staff of the Long Term Care Center and the assisted living facility where it is housed. Three 12-week English for the Workplace classes are offered over the course of the year. In 2010, 43 students were served. The NDEBC also supports students preparing for citizenship. Twenty hours of private tutoring is available, thanks to the volunteer services of residents at Notre Dame du Lac, the majority of whom are retired teachers.  In addition, several students have been able to move up a career ladder – GED, Certified Nursing Assistant, LPN; and some are beginning to work toward a R.N. degree.

#14  South Cove Community Health Center (Chinatown)
             in partnership with Asian American Civic Association

South Cove Community Health Center (SCCHC) with locations in Chinatown and Quincy has been partnering with AACA since 2009 to develop and implement a workplace education ESOL program for their employees. After receiving a Learn at Work Program grant in March of 2010, SCCHC allowed staff ample release time for AACA to conduct assessments on 40 employees.  The CEO and COO have championed the project, attending meetings especially in the development and initial stages. Classes started in May 2010, and run 36 weeks per year. SCCHC also contributes thousands of dollars annually towards the cost of this program. Managers and supervisors at the sites where classes occur have been very supportive in releasing staff and in contributing curriculum ideas and content materials. SCCHS has a great track record in hiring both alumni of AACA's ESOL programs and graduates of AACA's Office Skills Training program.

#15  Southwick and New England Join Board UNITE HERE! (Haverhill)
             in partnership with Northern Essex Community College

Southwick and New England Joint Board UNITE HERE! worked with Northern Essex Community College to design and deliver on-site ESOL classes for Southwick employees. With a grant from the Workforce Training Fund Program, classes ran successfully from 2009 to June 2011 for 34 weeks per year. NECC instructors provided ESOL instruction to two classes of beginner level students twice a week for two hours per day at the end of their workday. NECC instructors were given access to the factory by Southwick’s lead production manager in order to familiarize themselves with the production process. They also were aided by union stewards to bring authentic, workplace materials into the classroom. Over 35 students participated during the two years that classes were offered. Cooperation between Southwick management and UNITE HERE! leadership resulted in a high-quality program that increased quality and productivity. In an industry besieged by foreign competition, the impact of this program has contributed to Southwick’s ability to add well-paying union jobs over the past two years.

#16  UMass Amherst Labor/Management Workplace Education Program in partnership with UMass, AFSCME Local 1776, USA/MTA and PUS/MTA

The UMASS-Amherst Labor/Management Workplace Education Program is entering its 25th year of providing workplace English courses for its employees. The program runs 35 weeks per year (October to mid-May), 4 hours every week. The students come mainly from the entry level positions at UMASS: janitorial and food services. A key ingredient in the success of the program is the involvement of supervisors/managers and unions, like AFSCME Local 1776 and others, in the advisory committee. The program offers classes at two levels: beginner and intermediate. The main goal is to serve as the first step of the career ladder, promoting students to continue with their education and moving on to the different apprentice programs.  

#17  United Plastics Group, Inc. (Chicopee) in partnership with Holyoke Works

United Plastics Group (UPG) has recognized and acted upon the English speaking and literacy needs of its employees not only to improve the efficiency and productivity, but also because of the impact those developed skills have on each employee in their personal lives. Matching a grant from the Workforce Training Fund Program, UPG provided paid release time to employees to attend 24-week sessions of ESOL, with 2 hours of instruction twice a week. Classes were provided on-site by Holyoke Works, with 11 slots provided in the first session and 12 slots provided in the second. The end result of such an investment is increased retention of more efficient and qualified workers who have now developed a personal interest in their employer.

#18  Wrentham Developmental Center and AFSCME Local 646 (Wrentham) in partnership with the Worker Education Program, Inc.

The Wrentham Developmental Center, AFSCME Local 646 and the Worker Education Program, Inc. partnership offers ESOL and basic skills classes on-site to direct care workers. The mission of the WDC is to provide quality care to its developmentally disabled residents. Such care is based on effective communication between direct care workers and residents, with coworkers, and with supervisors. With guidance from the AFL-CIO and Massachusetts Worker Education Roundtable, the partnership conducted an initial survey of interest in ESOL, and the Worker Education Program joined the team as the educational provider. The partnership received a 3-year Learn at Work Program grant in 2010 to offer 2 levels of classes. In fiscal year 2011, 17 employees, originally from Cape Verde, Portugal, Haiti, Guatemala, and Liberia, were enrolled in classes. A coordinating team of union, management, teachers, and workers meets monthly to manage the project. Supervisors report better written and oral performance on the job by class attendees, and students say they feel more self-confident at work and in the community.

City of Somerville 2010

Angelica Textile Services
Angelica Textile Services’ Somerville plant, the main supplier of linens to Boston-area hospitals. employs about 600 people, most of whom are immigrants. Angelica kicked off its on-site English classes in March 2010, in partnership with the United Food and Commercial Workers union, under a grant from the MA Workforce Training Fund. Around six percent of Angelica’s employees are attending classes, offered by the Worker Education Program, twice each week for two hours: one hour during their regular working shift, and one hour off the clock. Angelica plans soon to extend the training to include more students and more advanced classes, and to expand the program to its other New England locations. Company leaders say the program translates into better productivity and a safer workplace. “It makes for a better employer-employee relationship when we’re all talking together,” said John Joyce, regional director. “It does help productivity. It is helping us communicate better. We’re very concerned about safety, and it’s important that our employees understand our goals,” (Somerville News, 10/12/10)

City of Boston 2009

#1 Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), under the leadership of Paul Levy, President and CEO, partners with JVS to support English language learning in the workplace. BIDMC covers the full cost of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes for its employees and collaborates with JVS and other hospitals in the Longwood Medical Area to provide on-site classes. Classes, at multiple skill levels, are held twice a week for 37 weeks. Summertime pronunciation lab classes are also offered, as well as weekly lunchtime conversation sessions known as “Table Talk.” Other offerings include assistance with naturalization applications, as well as career counseling, college preparation, and job training to help employees increase their skills.

#2 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA), under the leadership of Cleve Killingsworth, Chairman and CEO, partners with English Onsite to make English language learning a benefit for its employees. Since 2001 BCBSMA has offered on-site ESOL classes, graduating over 100 employees to date. Administered by English Onsite, intermediate and advanced level classes serve 12 employees each, and run two hours per week for ten weeks, after which a graduation ceremony is held. BCBSMA covers the total cost of this program, including classroom space, access to technology and materials, and paid release time to employee learners. As another strategy to institutionalize language learning, the company also uses support for English language learners as a criteria in its performance evaluations of supervisors. BCBSMA’s goal is to enhance written and oral communication, increase professional and social confidence, improve relationships, and facilitate advancement opportunities for its employees.

#3 Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), under the leadership of Dr. Gary Gottlieb, President and CEO, partners with JVS and Bunker Hill Community College to provide ESOL classes for employees. Begun in 1997, the program has since expanded into the BWH Workforce Initiative and now includes both the ESOL program and basic literacy courses. The focus is on “everyday English,” and specifically on communication with supervisors, patients and co-workers, as well as problem-solving. To date 300 employees have participated, many of whom have since enrolled in training or career development opportunities and received promotions. BWH covers all costs including paid release time and flex- time to employee learners, as well as space and access to technology and materials. BWH offers learning opportunities off-site as well.

#4 Federal Management
Federal Management, under the leadership of Richard Henken, President, partners with Educational Development Group (EDG) to provide English language learning classes to its employees. Federal Management covers tuition and offers paid-release time for employee learners to attend class 6-10 hours per week for 10 weeks off-site at EDG. Federal Management also gave EDG access to its worksites so that EDG could design a curriculum that is beneficial to both management and to the learning needs of employees.

#5 The Greater Boston Hotel Employees Local 26 Health and
      Welfare Fund

The Greater Boston Hotel Employees Local 26 Health and Welfare fund, with leadership by James Stamas, Chair of GBHE Trust Fund, and Janice Loux, President of UNITEHERE/Local 26, has a long history of supporting workplace English language learning. In 1986, the HERE Local 26 hotel workers union and its hotel members decided to include an education benefit through a collective bargaining agreement. The 21 hotel employer partners currently contribute over $750,000 annually to fund adult basic education, a large part of which is dedicated to English language classes for employees. Management and union staff members are involved in review of course curriculum and work towards promotion of employees to higher positions within the hotel. Some human resource staff volunteer their time to tutor members in English conversation and business writing. In the past two years over 200 employees have participated in the workplace ESOL program, with several being promoted within the hotels, due, in part to improved English language proficiency.

#6 John Nagle Co.
John Nagle Co., one of the City’s premier seafood wholesalers, under the leadership of Charles Nagle, President, has demonstrated its commitment to hiring employees from largely immigrant and low income neighborhoods in the City of Boston, and also recently provided English classes to its employees. Vice President Vincent Nagle has established a connection with the Notre Dame Education Center (NDEC), and has hired program graduates. Adult learners who have been hired by Nagle have remained with the company for many years, and some of their children have also been given part-time jobs while in college. John Nagle Co. has also donated to NDEC in recognition of the educational programs that NDEC offers to current and potential employees, and other Boston residents. The company also hosted English for New Bostonians classes from 2007 to 2008, for employees of Nagle and other businesses in the Boston’s Marine Industrial Park.

#7 Massachusetts Convention Center Authority/UGL-UNICCO/
      Service Employees International Union Local 615

The Massuchusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA, James E. Rooney, Executive Director), UGL-UNICCO (George Keches, President), and SEIU 615 (Rocio Saenz, President) have offered English classes to the workforce at the Convention Center over the past three years. Classes are offered to staff, who are employees of UNICCO and members of SEIU 615, at both the Hynes and the BCEC. There are least two classes at each site to accommodate different skill levels, and workers receive release time for classes twice a week. The cost of teachers, books and related materials is supported by grants sought by SEIU. Employee skill levels are assessed at the beginning and end of each program – at least once a year, and sometimes twice. Over the course of the program MCCA, UNICCO and SEIU 615 have seen employees’ increased skill level enable them to take on additional responsibilities, increase their self-esteem and in many cases identify opportunities for future career growth. UGL-UNICCO is also a supporter of English for New Bostonians; MCCA and SEIU 615 are actively engaged in the English Works Campaign.

#8 Massachusetts General Hospital
Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), under the leadership of Peter L. Slavin, President, partners with JVS to provide free on-site English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes to approximately 100 employees each year. MGH’s ESOL program was established in 1995 and currently offers six levels of instruction. Sessions run from September through May, each with a total of 104 instructional hours. MGH provides space for classes and access to computer labs. MGH also arranges guest speakers on issues affecting the lives of employee learners. In addition to many students achieving English language proficiency gains, several students have pursued community college courses and obtained United States citizenship.

#9 Picco Restaurant
Picco Restaurant, under the direction of Rick Katz, Chef and Owner, has partnered with Centro Latino de Chelsea to provide English classes for six non-English speaking kitchen staff. Mr. Katz provided space for classes, paid a teacher, and offered paid release time twice a week for fourteen weeks. While employee learners are at class, Mr. Katz has covered for his staff by doing the food preparation work himself. Mr. Katz does not forbid native language use in the workplace and states that his goal is to help his employees to make better lives for themselves.

#10 Tufts Medical Center
Tufts Medical Center (TMC), under the leadership of Ellen Zane, CEO, has partnered with the Asian American Civic Association (AACA) since 2007, to offer English and GED classes for employees in the Environmental Services Department. Supported by a grant for workplace education from the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the program consists of three classes during morning and afternoon shifts. TMC makes additional cash and in-kind contributions, and provides employees with paid release time. The employee learners’ supervisors have been supportive despite thinner staff coverage while students are in class. TMC’s stated goal is to help Environmental Services employees gain skills in order to attain promotions out of entry-level cleaning jobs and into more meaningful employment. TMC also provides training and internship experience for students in AACA’s ASCENT program. TMC and AACA are also active participants in the English Works Campaign.

#11 Wainwright Bank & Trust Company
Wainwright Bank & Trust Company, under the leadership of Jan Miller, President and CEO, partners with YMCA Training, Inc. to support immigrants who are Bank employees and members of the community. Wainwright Bank offers evening ESOL classes to its employees through the YMCA’s Communicate @ Work program. Through the Bank’s generous financial support, the course and materials are provided free of cost to employees. Wainwright staff collaborates with the instructor to develop curriculum that strengthens English skills and builds a foundation for career development and advancement. Wainwright also regularly provides internships and hires immigrants from YMCA Training, Inc. as well as other community-based workforce development programs. Wainwright Bank also sponsors YMCA Training, Inc.’s graduation and annual Partners Recognition Breakfast. The partnership between Wainwright Bank and the YMCA’s Education & Training programs has existed for ten years.