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View Sample Pages : Santa Fe New Mexican, October 02, 2005

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New Mexican (Newspaper) - October 2, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico Companies investing in teaching workers English Sunday October 2 2005 THE NEW MEXICAN C5 By Anabelle Garay The Associated Press DALLAS Francisco Casas knew enough English to get by in his job preparing rooms for meetings at a luxurious hotel using a few key words like table and chair along with hand gestures But the 43yearold Mexican immigrant wanted to build on his language skills so he jumped at the chance when Wyndham Anatole offered him a basic English The good thing is my little girl shes 6 shes my little teacher No Papi you need to say it like Casas said in English weeks after finishing the program The Dallas hotel chain is one of many companies help ing immigrant workers learn English as the Hispanic popula tion has boomed said Michelle Miller of the Multicultural Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance a Providence group that promotes the eco nomic benefits of diversity Theres a lot of untapped tal ent and education because the only barrier is employees who cant speak Miller said Between 1980 to 2000 the nations Hispanic population doubled and now immigrant and Latinos make up the countrys largest minority group Like Wyndham Dallasbased restaurant operator Brinkcr International foodservice company Sodexho USA and Cracker Barrel have used the training program As part of the program Casas and others worked on lessons at home using a talking LeapFrog pad like the kind many children play with My little boy would say Hey Papi this is for little Casas said Yeah I know but I need to Donna Associated Press Juan Godinez left and Francisco Casas have completed an Eng lish learning course paid for by their employer a Dallas hotel Called Sed the Saber which means thirst for knowledge the pad uses an adult story line resembling a lessracy Latin American novella and the tropi cal music sounds of salsa and merengue Glossy pages include words and colorful visuals to give les sons on situations such as mak ing a doctors appointment hav ing a parentteacher conference serving guests and making bank transactions Students can touch the pic tures with a stylus pen and hear translations and pronunciations Instructions tell how to mouth the words and give cultural pointers They can record and hear pronunciations as many times as theyd like Most importantly workers can learn on their own terms No one has to be around to hear their mistakes This adapts to your level It was with this that I realized how far behind I said Juan Godinez also a Wyndham employee Participants are tested before midway and following comple tion of the sixbook series At Wyndham the average partici pant improved 81 percent within 20 days of using the first book You can see an increase in said Steve Schul ler vice president of develop ment and staffing at Wyndham Theyre speaking English not fluently but theyre certainly attempting to speak in Some companies for years have tried different methods to teach English but there have always been complicating fac tors Miller said Wyndham and Brinker officials say they tried pocket translators flash cards college classes and bringing in teachers Some workers werent famil iar with computers so technol ogybased training wasnt very helpful And regular class atten dance was difficult because of work and family schedules Also people of varying levels were all in the same class An estimated 5 million adults with limited English skills work in the service industry said Dave Henninger senior vice president for marketing for Retention Education LLC a Newport Beach company overseeing Wyndham and Blinkers program and doz ens of others nationwide I think people are realizing they need to help these folks be successful because they are die future of the Hen ninger said EASIER BETTER than hassfirig with the internet LANL Contracts are kept secret can be worth million a year Continued from Page Cl As best as I can determine the process is going to be Bin gaman said by telephone Brooks he said explained in some detail the various steps that they were taking to ensure that the bids were appropriately considered and the factors that needed to be given the greatest importance were in fact going to be given the greatest Details of the contract pro posals submitted to the NNSA are secret But the winner can earn up to million a year Eight NNSA employees called the Source Evaluation Board have been reviewing applications from groups who want to manage the labs employees and billion yearly budget Some members of the board work at NNSA sites in Los Ala mos and Albuquerque accord ing to the NNSA The University of California which currently manages the lab has joined with Bechtel National to bid for the contract as is a partnership between the University of Texas and Lock heed Martin Corp The board headed by Przy bylek will give DAgostino a report And the Naval Academy graduate will make a decision to be announced in about two months However the head of a lab watchdog group doubts the boards influence Theres no major Department of Energy decisions that dont have a political said Greg Mello of the Los Alamos Study Group Its money and power rather than the technological reality that dominate the weap ons Contact Andy Lenderman at 9953827 or a knderman sfhewm THE SOURCE EVALUATION BOARD McKenzie at Guadalupe The board reviewing appli cations from groups who want to manage the labs employees and billion budget includes Przybylek and seven other voting members All are NNSA employees Richard F Sena Joseph C Vozella Patrick T Cahalane Kenneth E Zamora George N Pappas Jodi Lardner and Michael G Loera round out the group There are also nine nonvoting members on the board a secretary and eight advisers on things like finances procurement and legal issues They are a good bunch of people trying to do a very dif ficult said Joe Ladish spokesman for the Coalition for LANL Excellence a group of lab employees and commu nity leaders voicing concerns about the transition Ladish also said he thinks the board is trying to keep away from Washington and from the pressures that might influence their deci BENEFITS Joe Ladish spokesman for the Coalition for LANL Excel lence a group of lab employ ees and community leaders voicing concerns about the transition said the coalition organized in part because of concerns about benefits that play a big role in attracting and keeping the worlds best scientists It isnt just about he explained His group of a few hun dred members is concerned about retirement and medical benefits academic freedom the Los Alamos community quality of life and the ability to criticize within the correct The reason we feel those things are important is because we care about main taining the science excellence at the Ladish said For example he said it takes about 10 years to train a firstclass theoretical bomb designer You make a lifetime commitment when you go into the weapons Ladish said Current labemployee retirement benefits will be substantially equivalent to the current University of Cali fornia system according to the NNSA Pension benefits will con tinue under the University of California plan Retiree medi cal benefits will be provided under a new contract accord ing to the NNSA Domenici said he was pleased with the agencys decision to extend comment periods for people to voice their concerns Bingaman agreed Obvi Bingaman said well see what the end result is of this process I do think that they took into account a lot of concerns that people have Bingaman also discussed the labs need to be competi tive in its recruitment efforts The future strength of the lab depends entirely on who theyre able to keep there at the he said No matter who wins the contract Mello of the nuclear watchdog group said the real question is what happens next The key thing is what is the lab going to he said And that is also up in the air right A new manager will take over a sevenyear contract on June 1 the right home loan you can save at closing and every day after Right now when you apply for your first Home from Los Alamos National Bank well waive our closing fees and give you a free checking Free checking includes freeonline banking estatements online bill pay online wire transfers and a VISA debit card For more information or to start the loan process call your local LANB mortgage lender today at 9545400 Let us put Smart Banking to work for you Upon credit approval LANB will charge no mortgage loan fees You may be charged fees from an outside appraiser or vendor Offer subject to change Not valid with any other offer Good through October Los Alamos NATIONAL BANK SANTA FE Smart Santa Fe 301 Griffin St 2009 Galisteo St Los 1200 Trinity Drive 77 Rover Blvd [email protected] I 1 Member Marcella of Velarde Wi Cpnsuelo Maestas of Chimayq NM of Hereford IX X Michael Martha Aguino Manny Trujillp Peter Tafoya Johnnie Roybal Diana Martinez Ed Salazar Joanne Ramirez Ruby Mondragon Eligio Martinez Yatemina Chacon NeKiu lonzaks iiri eriv Mirts of EspaftipM of Sari Juan Pueblo NM of Santa Fe Nil of Santa Cruz NTi1 of Chimayo BM JifThprton CO of Sania Cruz Nft of Ranchos de Taos of Fammgion MM Ei Ritu NM of El Kilo nf Hoi Garland CO of Espanohi NM Vajasqiiez EfteidjjjQuintana Espfribza Isaac Casados Martinez Suazo Rafaelita Santlsievan JosieOriiz Jhirley Graves Elizabeth Camp Virginia Griego Denise Moreland Evelyn Uvain Riibtrt Ffexmex John Bifi V 1 At of Santa of of Satila Ft NM of of fliimayo NM of Dixtin NM of NM of Rama XM of fcpaflula NM ANY SPIN ANY ANY TIME You dont have to Win to Win It AND THEY DID OHKAY CASlNORtSORT A division of KAY Corp minutes Norlh of 1c NM onlv rcponsibl I100V21 142 anplv Visit tu Club booth for vumplctr rules ;