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South Bay Workforce Investment Board

Parker Hannifin Company

Workforce Challenge

Parker Hannifin Company, one of the world-leaders in water desalinization and purification, reached out to the South Bay Workforce Investment Board (SBWIB) for assistance with an impending employee layoff affecting 50-60 employees. The company was facing language barriers with their production floor employees who could not communicate effectively in English, which caused production and safety issues.

Workforce Solution

The SBWIB Rapid Response team switched gears from layoff planning to layoff aversion. SBWIB partnered with one of their local educational partners, Family First Charter, to provide an on-site teacher for English as a Second Language (ESL). Classes were conducted on-site, three days per week for one hour after shifts ended. The company's safety manual and other working forms were presented and testing was done at the end of eight months to guage comprehension. Committed to the process and its employees, the company also agreed to pay the employees for a portion of their time in attendance.

Outcomes & Benefits

To date, 45 employees have completed the program and been retained. As a result of the ESL classes, Parker Hannifin Company stated that communication and safety has improved. All employees that have completed the program have remained employed. Additionally, some of the employees that completed the classes have been promoted, and they now play a more integral role in the supervision of other employees.

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