Discusses the design of the five Limited English Proficiency and Hispanic Workforce Initiative (LEPHWI) projects, which pilot learning strategies that simultaneously teach English language acquisition and occupational skills.
The Limited English Proficiency and Hispanic Workforce Initiative (LEPHWI) was a strategic effort of the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) to improve access to employment and training services for LEP persons and to better serve Hispanic workers through workforce investment programs that address the specific employment challenges faced by these individuals. The LEPHWI was intended to help Hispanic Americans and other LEP persons simultaneously develop language and occupational skills to prepare them for jobs in high-growth/high-demand industries. Under this initiative, ETA awarded five LEPHWI demonstration project grants in early 2006 to pilot learning strategies that simultaneously teach English language acquisition and occupational skills. The report discusses each site's design, partnerships, and implementation activities to recruit participants and employers and deliver training services. The report presents the outcomes for each project and explores the lessons learned from their design, participant engagement, and replicability. To the extent possible, the evaluation also attempts to draw comparisons across all five projects in key program areas and identifies potential promising Vocational English as a Second Language (VESL) practices (Abstract). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

"Participating projects achieved a degree of success by being flexible and ready to adapt their programs and service plans when confronted with unanticipated challenges. Interest was high among employers and potential participants, both incumbent workers and the unemployed. The factors critical to the success of LEPHWI demonstration projects included active engagement of employers in creating or adapting a VESL curriculum to meet their workplace requirements; employers’ support in recruiting and maintaining participants; instruction located at the worksite or in an otherwise convenient location; the awareness and enthusiasm of a participant’s immediate supervisor; and the employer’s ability and willingness to provide incentives for the participation in and completion of the VESL training" (p.xxiv). (Abstractor: Author)