Publix: Employee Participant Testimonial

Manager of Integration Programs

June 29, 2016

Guest blog post by Yenesis M. Alfonso

Mario MartinezMario Martinez, is a stocker at Publix in Miami. He is originally from Cuba and a native Spanish speaker. As a full-time employee for the past 4 years, Mario lacked the confidence needed to communicate with management, customers and co-workers. This limited his ability to fully engage at his workplace and made him feel trapped.

Mario is attending a contextualized English language class offered by his employer through Skills and Opportunity for the New American Workforce. He is enthusiastic about improving his communication skills by employing new listening and conversation techniques, and phrases he learned in class. Mario indicated that the student handbook is a great tool that he can use for years to come to further enhance his English skills. Since he joined the program, he is using his newly acquired skills on the job, and gained the confidence he lacked to communicate with management, customers, and co-workers.

“Now I feel free,” Mario noted. His breakthrough came when he recently attended his regularly scheduled meetings with management, conducted in English.  For the first time he actually understood what was said and was able to contribute to the meeting in English. Previously, Mario’s manager used to take a translator in order to communicate with him but after that meeting, he speaks to Mario directly.

Photo: Mario Martinez role playing in one of the many class activities with Doris Blanco-Lanza.

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.