For KRA Customer, ESL is First Step on Job-Readiness Path

Career Agent Jihan Bryan reported, “Customers generally visit PGWorks, which KRA Corporation operates for the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services, to apply for Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA).  However, before TCA enrollment, KRA enrolls them in our Job-Readiness Program (JRP) to help them find employment instead.

During an Orientation, I observed “Yasmeen” struggling to complete her Assessment Package, and discovered her English-language skills were very limited.  Instead of enrolling Yasmeen, who is a 26-year old Pakistani immigrant, in JRP, I counseled her on how she would benefit from “ESL” courses;  gave her a Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) flyer; and advised her to call for ESL enrollment information.”

For many,  ESL = English as a Second Language.  For millions, who speak several languages, it is not a second language; it is another language.   PGCC recognizes this distinction, offering three proficiency-specific English for Speakers of Other Languages courses.

A Student With ESL Instructor

A Student With ESL Instructor

Jihan concluded, “Yasmeen was successful in enrolling in TCA and the PGCC Refugee Training Program’s Adult Education ESL Course, tailored for students from non English-speaking countries.  I received an email from Patty Larson, introducing herself as the Program Coordinator, and thanks to Yasmeen, we’ve established a new partner-relationship to benefit other KRA/PGWorks jobseeker-customers.”