LancasterThrivingSummerFall2017 - 46
COMMUNITY: COMMUNITY PARTNERS
"Many of them felt marginalized," Barbosa said. "They were
trying to do all the right things to get ahead, but they were
facing language, educational and financial barriers that were
holding them back."
While the Spanish American Civic Association had offered
educational services to members of the Hispanic community
for years, Tec Centro took those services to a new level.
"Now, we're able to be full service," said Barbosa. "We can
meet our students where they are, and make sure they have
the education and language skills they need to be successful
at training for and finding work.
"We get a lot of support, and that enables us to serve our
community," Barbosa said. "Most of the people who come
here really want to work. They want the American dream, and
they'll do whatever they need to do to make that happen."
Language can be a huge barrier in looking for, finding
and keeping a job, and many of Tec Centro's clients
"We discovered that there was a gap in the workforce
system," Barbosa said. "People were learning English, but
when they would go to job interview or to find some training,
they were told their language skills weren't good enough."
As a result, job opportunities were very limited for many
Hispanics, who felt powerless and frustrated.
46 | LANCASTERTHRIVING! | Summer/Fall2017
BY SUSAN SHELLY,
Writer, Hoffmann Publishing
Contact Susan at Susan@Hoffpubs.com