Cesiah Albarran of Lawrence came to this country in 2013 from Puerto Rico with a recently earned bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico and limited English skills. With the help of family members, she quickly landed a job with Bradford & Bigelow (B&B), a $31M specialty printing company with 140 employees in Newburyport, working as a helper in manufacturing.
Today, thanks in part to a workplace English program provided by Northern Essex Community College and funded by a state grant, Albarran has been promoted to account manager at Bradford & Bigelow, where she is communicating regularly with customers, using her newly honed English skills.
“I spoke a little bit of English when I came here but it was English learned from books. Participating in this program gave me the confidence to communicate in English,” said a brightly smiling Albarran.
On Monday, November 21, Albarran and the other 18 Bradford & Bigelow employers who completed the year-long, 220-hour English language program were recognized at a graduation ceremony held at the Newburyport headquarters.
The Workplace English program that Albarran benefited from was paid for by a $246,762 Workforce Training Fund grant from the state’s Commonwealth Corporation which Bradford & Bigelow received in late 2015. In addition to funding Workplace English for employees, the grant also covered sales training, effective supervisory management skills, Microsoft Office Suite 2013 and technical training. It was the largest grant in Massachusetts’ state history given to a printing company, according to Company President John D. Galligan, who spoke at the ceremony.
“As one of the first ISO 9001: 2015 and G-7 certified suppliers in North America, continuous training and improvement is part of our DNA,” said Galligan, who adds that his company has invested $10M over the past three years in the most advanced equipment available in their markets.
Bradford & Bigelow’s clients are national and international in scope and the company competes successfully against some of the industry giants. “Our goal is always same: we want to be a best in class supplier not the biggest.”
Another key to B&B’s success is the low turnover, says Galligan. “We measure employee tenure in terms of decades not years.”
Also speaking at the graduation ceremony were Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday and George Moriarty, NECC’s executive director of corporate and community education. NECC Workplace English teacher Patrick Liu presented certificates to each of the graduates and Dennis Marcello attended representing Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives.
For more information about Workplace English and other corporate training programs offered by NECC, contact Moriarty at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978 659-1224
North Andover, MA