BCNC and CPA Celebrate ESL Customer Service Training Graduates

BOSTON, Sept. 17, 2016– The Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center and the Chinese Progressive Association celebrated the graduation of its second class of Pre-Vocational Skills with ESOL for Retail Employment training program.  Eight students graduated, with five having already found work in the customer service industry.

Three of the graduates will be working at Bon Me, an Asian-inspired restaurant and food truck business with over 160 employees across Greater Boston.  Alison Fong, Co-Founder and Owner was the keynote speaker at the graduation.  She emphasized the importance of good attitude at the workplace and is excited to employ the students in her stores.  Ms. Fong was a former Chinese Progressive Association intern, and her company recently announced that they will be raising the minimum wage of their company to $13 an hour with a pathway to $15 an hour by 2018.

The graduation was also attended by representatives of the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, which supports the program through the Neighborhood Jobs Trust.  Freddie Velez of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development was impressed by the students’ speeches and emphasized the support the Mayor has for the training and their success.  Finally, Giles Li, Executive Director of Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, expressed how proud he was of the students for taking this step in their life.

The 10-week training provides low-income immigrants with the English, customer service, and mainstream job search skills needed to obtain and maintain employment in the retail and customer service industries. Students also have the opportunity to speak to local employers, including Roche Bros., Bon Me, Macy’s, and Whole Foods.

The next training will begin on October 3rd and will run Monday – Friday, 9:30 am – 12:00 PM. Students must meet low-income requirements and be residents of Boston; those interested should go to CPA at 28 Ash Street, Boston, to register and to schedule a time for an English test and an interview.

About BCNC:

Since 1969, BCNC has been the vital link for the Asian community of Greater Boston, providing essential services that ease their integration into American society and preserve their rich culture. BCNC offers exemplary services to over 2,000 children, youth and adults each year, strengthening families and building communities. BCNC is the largest Asian social service provider in New England and its programs in Boston and Quincy include: Acorn Center for Early Education and Care, Adult Education, Family Child Care, Family Services, Youth Center, Recreation and Fitness and Red Oak After School Program.

About CPA:

CPA was founded in 1977 out of a series of community organizing campaigns around issues such as Chinese parents’ input into the Boston school desegregation process and organizing for community control over land development in Chinatown. Our mission is to work for the full equality and empowerment of the Chinese community. Today, we have over 1,000 members in the Greater Boston area and work on community issues such as Chinatown Stabilization, housing and displacement, job development and standards, youth empowerment and civic engagement.