Customer service graduates celebrate career possibilities

A graduation for the English for Customer Service program took place July 28 at the Pao Arts Center. (Image courtesy of Valerie Sizhe Li.)

Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC) and Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) held a graduation ceremony for students who participated in the English for Customer Service Job Training Program that helps low-income Boston residents find a job in retail and customer service industry on July 28. Most of the seven graduates already received job offers from employers, including Uniqlo, Bon Me and Roche Bros.

Boston Director of Workforce Development Trinh Nguyen spoke at the graduation. (Image courtesy of Valerie Sizhe Li.)

Coming to the United States seven months ago, Audrey Guan didn’t speak much English and struggled to find employment in Boston. “At the beginning, I couldn’t follow what people said. Now I am offered two jobs. I can’t wait to start my new career,” said Guan.

During the 10-week training program, students will improve fluency in English and obtain necessary skills in customer service. Additionally, each student will receive seven hours of one-on-one career counseling sessions to better secure employment opportunities.

CPA has been working with BCNC on the training program for three years. Not only do they provide training to residents who meet low-income requirements, they also follow up on the previous graduates to assure their employment status.

Mark Liu, CPA operation and program director, said, “We try to reach out to all the tenant associations and community partners in the neighborhoods. We also gave presentations at different schools and organizations across the Boston area.”

Mayor’s Office Workforce Development director Trinh Nguyen praised the efforts of BCNC and CPA for building a better community. “Organizations like CPA and BCNC can really help the city to increase wages so families could actually benefit from the rapid economic development in the city,” she said.

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