Community First with Family Services Windsor Essex
Over the past few months, Workforce WindsorEssex has noticed an increase in employers prioritizing multilingualism in their job postings. Workforce WindsorEssex Research Associate Marissa Bumanlag interviewed local employers on the topic of hiring those who can speak multiple languages and what kind of benefits they bring to the organization.
Connecting the community is what Family Services Windsor-Essex is all about. Workforce WindsorEssex Research Associate Marissa Bumanlag spoke to Ashley Moore, the Executive Administrator at Family Services Windsor-Essex, about the significance of hiring individuals within the organization that can speak more than one language. Family Services Windsor-Essex is a nonprofit organization and counselling and advocacy centre that helps individuals, couples, and families live independently in the community by helping solve conflicts. As part of bringing the community closer together, Moore elaborates on the benefits of having diverse staff within her workplace below.
When approached about the types of jobs that the organization hires that require multi-language abilities, Moore notes that multilingualism “benefits all positions” as switchboards/receptionists are used as the first point of contact. Family Services Windsor-Essex utilizes their multi-language capabilities when sending teams to go out in the community and to people’s houses. A specific example of this is when an individual calls the organization, his or her first experience with the organization is vital to helping adults with resources that they need, whether it be adult protective or even income tax completion services. Family Services Windsor-Essex has grown over the past three years and the demand for multilingual capabilities has expanded as a result. The jobs in the organization contribute to their goals through an increased cultural awareness in the community through fulfilling the need for both French and Arabic proficiency by serving others.
Connecting the Community
Family Services Windsor-Essex has “Safe Space” Designation. A Safe Space is a welcoming, supportive and safe environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT). As the organization encourages others to be welcomed in the community, Family Services Windsor-Essex also looks to connect the community to services like VON Immigrant Health Clinic for newcomers and immigrants.
One of the obstacles that we had to overcome was finding a Spanish speaking worker that could deliver services to the growing Spanish speaking clientele we were beginning to see. This problem was solved by posting on multiple job boards and reaching out to our resources in the US to ultimately finding someone who was able to communicate in Spanish. This was solved through hiring an individual who speaks multiple languages. Moore notes that “posting jobs on a variety of different websites such as university and online job boards” allows her to “reach more people in the community”. It is through the process of reaching more people within the community that Moore says contributes to the “sense of comfortability” at Family Services Windsor-Essex when it comes to placing others’ needs ahead of themselves.
Moore concludes that for those thinking about hiring individuals with multi-language abilities to pursue it, as “it is vitally important and an invaluable asset as these individuals bring something new to the table”. For those who are interested in working with Family Services Windsor-Essex, individuals from all different backgrounds and walks of life are encouraged to apply and get involved.
Hiring individuals who can speak multiple languages? Contact Research Associate Marissa Bumanlag for an interview at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read more in our Multilingualism in the Workforce Blog Series, please click here.