November 28, 2007
LEARNING ENGLISH AT WORK
TO ENHANCE JOBS AND LIVES
Clark College honors First Aid Only for their support of adult literacy
in the workplace
VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Clark College has presented a Community Service Award to First Aid Only for their efforts in supporting adult literacy in the workplace.
Lynn Miller, human resource coordinator at First Aid Only, accepted the award from Clark College Basic Skills Director Mark McLean. The college and First Aid Only have teamed to offer an English as a Second Language (ESL) class at their workplace so employees can have easy access after their shift if they want to improve their ability to speak, listen, read and write English. Located in Vancouver, First Aid Only specializes in first aid kits and supplies. The award was presented as part of the college’s 2007 Adult Literacy Week celebration.
In 1993, First Aid Only, Inc. won the “Clark County Employer of the Year Award” for its commitment to diversity and providing all individuals with opportunities to succeed. Lynn Miller said, “Even then, one of our main challenges was the difficulty in communicating with our non-English speaking employees. We asked that they all take ESL classes at Clark College. Unfortunately, the classes were either full or were offered only during our normal hours of operation.”
Ten years later, Miller noted, “the issue is more difficult than ever….All departments of our company are now experiencing a complete process improvement phase which includes the rebuilding of our production facility. Our team needs to think and operate differently. This will be more successful if we can communicate more easily and effectively.” Miller added, “We know that the only way to provide this opportunity to our team was to bring the English opportunities to them.
Working with Clark College, the company has provided a classroom setting for ESL assessments, testing and classes to all employees. First Aid Only pays the $25 student tuition for its employees, has purchased dictionaries and supplies for its workers, and has offered financial incentives for perfect attendance. Class is held immediately after work so employees can arrive home before dinner.
According to Miller, First Aid Only is excited about their continuing partnership with Clark College. “We consider this an investment in the future,” said Miller. “Our employees have made great progress and look forward to achieving their next level of language success.”