Monroe County Community Schools receive national award

BLOOMINGTON – Monroe County Community Schools has received the Behind Every Employer Incentive Grant from the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE), a national organization dedicated to advancing the field of adult literacy.

Monroe County Community Schools Adult Education partnered with a local business to provide English language classes to native Spanish speakers who were impacted by business closures during the pandemic. The company wanted to provide these workers with high-wage jobs with career growth potential in advanced manufacturing.

Robert Moore

“In addition to training our employees on technical skills, we knew that we would need to support these employees with English language training and American culture and customs as part of their onboarding,” said Robert Moore, Director of Adult Education.

Program planning began in September 2020, with training beginning in July 2021. In addition to language training for native Spanish-speaking employees, the program provided Spanish language training for supervisors and managers who are native English speakers in order to close communication gaps between speakers of both languages.

The collaboration resulted in a diverse workforce, improved employee retention, and the company’s ability to fulfill its mission to impact the lives of patients around the world by providing lifesaving and sustaining medical devices.

In addition, of the 81 participants to date, 25 have shown measurable skill gains in their reading and/or listening skills on a standardized assessment of English literacy skills. January 2022 marks the third year of the collaborative language training program.

Monroe County Community Schools will receive the 2022 Behind Every Employer Incentive Grant during the Coalition on Adult Basic Education’s national conference, held virtually and in-person April 11-13, in Seattle, Washington.