Skills and Opportunity for the New American Workforce completed its first contextualized English language course last month. Publix Super Markets hosted the 3-month long pilot course for their Miami area store employees with instruction from Miami Dade College. Publix has already enrolled hundreds of its employees in the program to enhance career pathways for its immigrant workforce. Building on the success of this pilot course, Skills and Opportunity for the New American Workforce has recently launched contextualized English language training across stores in the Miami, Houston and New York City areas.
Gilberto Velazco Brea, a baker at Publix Sabor in Hialeah, Florida, joined dozens of his colleagues over the last few months to improve his English communication skills at work. Gilberto is originally from Cuba and a native Spanish speaker who has worked at Publix for more than six years. Learning English in the context of his job allows Gilberto to more easily greet customers, become better qualified for promotions, and open the door to a more prosperous life for himself and his family. After graduating from the pilot course last month with perfect attendance, Gilberto’s increased English skills have helped him attain an advancement from part-time to full-time work within his store’s bakery department.