What problem does it solve? A large population of the NJ applicants we serve are Spanish Speaking. While there is a translator phone number, the applicant can be waiting on the phone for at least 1/2 hour. This Department has a few Spanish-speaking employees, but not enough to service the volume of Spanish speaking residents that we assist. What is your solution and who does it apply to? The solution is that employees who are voluntarily willing to be trained how to respond to Spanish speaking clients should be given the opportunity to learn specific responses pertaining to the services that we offer. Many of us know how to ask for phone numbers, social security numbers, etc. (uno, dos, tres...), but we need to learn how to request additional required information from residents (are you married, single, divorced? what county do you live in?, etc. The employees could be trained during their lunch hour, by a volunteer Spanish speaking employee, and taught questions and phrases designed for their particular department. What is the anticipated impact? The expected impact is twofold (1) non Spanish speaking employees would be able to communicate with a wider NJ population and (2) given the opportunity to improve their personal and professional growth by learning a commonly used second language.
This should be offered as part of training; the employee should not have to use lunch time or leave time.
The alternative option is for employees to take a language course at an accredited educational institution and get reimbursed for the cost of the class.
This would be very beneficial but some family success centers across the state offer this course for free but it would be helpful to provide it during the training course in the beginning or at least during the work day.
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