The Worthington Community has a very diverse population. With over 84 languages and dialects spoken in our school district and businesses, there is a great need for Certified Interpreters. In response to this need, the Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council Inc. (PIC) was awarded Pathways 2 Prosperity (P2P) dollars by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to fill this need by offering Certified Interpreter Training.
PIC has a long standing partnership with Southwest Adult Basic Education (ABE) to do Bridge Training with individuals interested in the training. ABE provides 1:1 preparatory training using Learner Web to accomplish Medical Terminology training as well as begin working the workbooks provided by The ARCH Language Network. Due to Covid, our ABE Instructor developed a new way to teach through Zoom and via phone. We made sure each participant had access to a computer, internet and smart phone to be able to teach the Bridge in an effective way. We are very proud of these efforts and adaptation to change. Minnesota West Community and Technical College provides space to hold the class and this year was especially challenging due to Covid. Minnesota West implemented safety procedures to protect our students. This played a huge part in the success of the class.
The ARCH Language Network provided us an instructor for the 40-hour class. The instructor is well respected and students enjoyed the class. A few things had to be adapted due to Covid this year. Students and the instructor wore masks for safety and practiced social distancing. Upon completion of the class, students were issued a certificate. After receiving their certificate, students work with ABE on their OPI (Oral Proficiency Interviews) to gain their certification.
PIC held the class with 17 students. There were 9 languages in the class including: Spanish; Karen; Amharic; Oromo; Mam; Tigrinia; Arabic and French.
We consider this class a huge success and utilizing the P2P money offered us the chance to train and provide opportunities to very diverse populations.