ISS has announced that employees participating in its recently launched English language training program have graduated. The program, which is among the first of its kind in the integrated facilities management and food services industries, debuted earlier this year at separate U.S.-based client sites.
The projects were developed in collaboration with the National Immigration Forum and its English at Work program, which helps organizations develop and facilitate industry-contextualized English language training for their employees. The pilot program, offered on a volunteer basis, provided participants with more than 30 hours of live instruction during work hours, over 15 weeks, at no cost to the participants.
Participants also were granted 7-month access to an online learning platform with digital modules to reinforce live classroom learning. This blended model helps learners hone their language skills and develop essential digital literacy and technology skills that they can immediately apply at work and in daily life.
“We’re encouraged by the initial success of this program and are proud of all our graduates,” said Susanne Jorgensen, CEO, ISS Americas. “This program underscores our commitment to providing our Placemakers with the training and experiences to help them thrive in their roles. It also speaks to our commitment to our clients as we continually explore ways to elevate the customer service and workplace experience we deliver.”
The curriculum combines different methods and best practices in language instruction to accommodate different learning styles and levels of proficiency to help participants communicate effectively and appropriately in various situations in their work context. Upon graduation, participants will receive a certificate of completion from the accredited community college partner that delivered instruction.
According to the National Immigration Forum, 91% of participants in its program experience increased confidence on the job, and 93% cite improved job performance, while 89% of managers report increased productivity.
“ISS is leading the way with this investment in its diverse workforce,” said Jennie Murray, President and CEO, National Immigration Forum. “We were honored to collaborate with ISS experts to develop and pilot an innovative English curriculum specifically customized to enhance career pathways for integrated facilities management workers, which will benefit the industry as a whole. We also appreciated the opportunity to further expand our work together by providing training to food service employees at another client site. ISS represents the best of what it means to be an inclusive employer for immigrant workers.”
This initiative is the company’s latest action intended to advance its cultural ambition to become a “company of belonging” that reinforces its diverse and inclusive culture. Other recent examples include the commitment to hire 1,000 refugees in North America through a collaboration with the Tent Partnership for Refugees; joining the inclusion program “Generation Valuable” to foster inclusive leadership and diverse management talent pool; signing the Women’s Empowerment Principles, which reinforces its commitment to advancing gender equality in the workplace, market and community.
The integrated facilities management service mix for ISS includes the provision of technical, food, workplace, and cleaning services, among others. The company provides these offerings across major industry segments, including life sciences, healthcare, technology, manufacturing, banking and professional services, and aviation.