Ana Lucía Ortega Encarnación is a cashier at Publix in Miami. She came to the US from the Dominican Republic less than a year ago, and has worked at Publix for 7 months. Shortly after she started, she saw an ad in the employee break room encouraging employees to speak to their manager about continuing education and professional development, after being employed for 6 months. So she did, on the day of her 6th month employment anniversary.
Ana Lucía studied journalism and some English in her home country, and she is determined to continue to improve her language skills, so she can grow within Publix. She recently took an opportunity to train in customer service and hopes for a promotion in the near future. But she knows she really needs to improve her comprehension and pronunciation in English. “To serve the customers, I have to understand them first”, she says.
When she completes this contextualized English course, she plans to continue studying English at Miami Dade College. “I have three teenage children who will be going to college soon, and I want to be a role model for them. I’m already looking for scholarship opportunities for the four of us.”
Ana Lucía dreams to be a store manager someday, or even work in human resources. “I love helping people, customers, and co-workers. It’s very rewarding!”
Ana Lucía is one of over 200 Publix employees in Miami who are improving their job-specific English skills through Skills and Opportunities for the New American Workforce. “This opportunity from Publix means everything to me. I want to become a better employee and a better person, and my employer is helping me achieve that.”
For more student profiles and testimonials on Skills and Opportunity for the New American Workforce, please click here.
Skills and Opportunity for the New American Workforce is a project of the National Immigration Forum, funded by the Walmart Foundation, in partnership with Miami Dade College and the Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education.