Speaking of Success by Learning English
LOWELL -- Xiyin Liu needed to quickly get a hang of the language.
Emigrating from China to America 7 months ago, she knew that improving her English was critical for her to land a job.
The English for Advancement student can now introduce herself, describe her career experiences and elaborate much more in English.
“With their help, my English has improved a lot,” she said of the English for Advancement program.
“And I got a job,” Liu added. She is now an assistant teacher at the Little Wagon Early Education Center in Waltham.
More success stories like Liu’s could pop up in the city in the near future.
On Monday, the city launched a new Pay for Success Project. The English for Advancement program will provide language training and job placement for limited English speakers in Lowell seeking to advance their careers.
The workforce development program is a partnership between the city, state, Coalition for a Better Acre, International Institute of New England, and Jewish Vocational Service.
Yun-Ju Choi, executive director of the Coalition for a Better Acre, said they’re thrilled to be part of bringing this project to the city, which has a long and celebrated history of immigration.
“Our goal is to help families in the Acre become economically self-sufficient, and workforce development is a huge component to get there,” Choi said.
“By working with local partners and a great workforce development leader like JVS, we are helping more of our residents improve their English, get jobs, support their families, and contribute their talents and strengths to the local economy,” she added.
This program is part of the Massachusetts Pathways to Economic Advancement Pay for Success project -- a three-year initiative carried out by the state, represented by the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the Executive Office of Education. Funding for the project was provided by a group of community investors.
The project will deliver services to about 2,000 adults in Greater Boston over three years.
Vocational English language classes, integrated with job search assistance and coaching, will assist limited English speakers -- including documented immigrants and refugees -- in making successful transitions to employment, higher wage jobs, and higher education.
“To continue to succeed, we need to nurture, we need to make sure our employee pipeline is well stocked and bring in the best brains from around the world,” Sen. Eileen Donoghue said.
“Regardless of what language you speak, we want you to feel at home here in the city of Lowell, and acquire the language skills necessary to get a job and participate fully in the social life of our community,” she added.
Lowell Mayor William Samaras said the city is pleased to support this initiative.
“Our adult workforce will use this training to advance in their jobs and careers, helping to build our talent pipeline and fuel our local economy,” Samaras said.
To join the program, individuals must first attend an information session.
The next information session will be on Wednesday at 10:45 a.m., at 450 Merrimack St., Lowell.
Follow Rick Sobey on Twitter @rsobeyLSun.