I grew up in Spain so our job site tends to have a lot of Spanish speakers. But if they are speaking Spanish at work and at home they have no way of learning English. They have the skills in terms of green building but they lack the communication skills to be able to sell it. Knowing English is a crucial tool for better fitting into NY, both socially and economically.
In order to increase the well being of our workers and their overall job qualifications we have started offering free English classes to those who don’t have English as a first language.
So we have an English class twice a week at the local Pizzeria on the corner of Smith and 2nd (great pizza BTW). The class is led by Maria-Teresa Capelle-Burny. As the name implies she is a true Brooklyn mix and a great teacher.
We hope that this little investment will make better and happier employees too! It is part of our company philosophy of Building It Forward. We are building something now that will make things better in the future, regardless of whether benefit.
Our company might not even benefit from their improved language skills but somebody will, obviously including the workers themselves and that is what is important.