A Health Career On-ramp for English Language Learners
Submitted by Michael Cruse on September 15, 2017 - 11:51am
An article from The New York Times, titled, Lacking E.M.T.s, an Aging Maine Turns to Immigrants highlights a unique program at a community college, that supports both English Language Learners and area employers in developing an on-ramp to healthcare careers in the U.S.
“This program is a win-win-win,” said David Zahn, chairman of the global languages department at the community college, which started the program. He said he basically put two and two together. Surveys showed that employers, especially municipal and private ambulance services, needed more E.M.T.s; other surveys showed that many immigrants in the Portland area are underemployed and have medical backgrounds, according to the Times.
The course is financed by a work force development grant through the Maine Community College System, and additional support from a foundation helping disadvantaged people in the state. While many work force development programs help immigrants learn English, this is possibly the first of which teaches English in the context of E.M.T. training, with participants learning high-level terminology and a higher level of English than those in, say, the food services industry.
Paul Froman is the course instructor, and says that he does not vary the program for immigrant learners. They must pass the same tests and meet the same requirements for licensing as American-born participants.
What are other examples of programs supporting skilled immigrants, and working to address local employer needs in your economy? Share your programs, or questions about how to create on-ramp career opportunities for the skilled immigrants in your community?
Career Pathways Moderator