Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 60

CLOSING
DEALS

MAKING EMPLOYMENT ACCESS MORE
EQUITABLE WITH ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRAINING:
VOXY ENGEN ANNOUNCES SERIES A INVESTMENT
BY TARYN OESCH DELONG, CPTM

In 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics (BLS) estimated immigrants
made up 17.4% of the total labor force.
In addition, the Brookings Institute
estimated in 2014 that almost 10% of
working-age U.S. adults were " limited
English proficient. " These workers
earned 25% to 40% less than workers
with English proficiency, despite the fact
that most held a high school diploma
and 15% held a college degree. Limited
English proficiency is a barrier to
employment, especially secure, wellpaying employment. Unfortunately, only
4% of U.S. adults with limited English
proficiency have access to English
language education, according to Dr.
Katharine Nielson.
Voxy EnGen, a public benefit corporation
that Nielson created and incubated at
Voxy Inc. while she served as its chief
education officer, is working to change
these statistics. Its platform aims to provide
skills-based virtual English language
education to workers with limited English
proficiency. Earlier this year, it announced
its Series A funding, valued at $6.75
million, from Rethink Education, The
Social Entrepreneurs' Fund, the University
System of Maryland Momentum Fund,
Juvo Ventures, and The American Family
Insurance Institute for Corporate and
Social Impact.
REAL-WORLD, PERSONALIZED
CONTENT
Nielson believes that one of the reasons
Voxy EnGen's platform is so effective is
because it teaches workers the language
they need to perform and advance
in their career. She says that, within
months, learners develop " meaningful

| 60

language skills " they can apply at
work. It uses artificial intelligence (AI)
to personalize content based on the
learner's proficiency and needs, making
it more relevant and useful. Nielson
believes this personalized learning is
a significant advantage over traditional
language education, which takes a onesize-fits-all approach.
CREATING CAREER PATHWAYS
Nielson says her two big goals for 2021
are to grow Voxy EnGen's footprint
across the U.S. and to " help create more
career pathways in different sectors to
get people into meaningful jobs. " To that
end, she hopes to increase the number
of learners using the platform from 7,000
to 40,000.
Those meaningful career pathways
are key to making employment more
equitable. Learning a new language is a
daunting prospect for the employee (and
the employer). Nielson hopes to make
English education more accessible and
applicable by " start[ing] with real English. "
Her content helps workers learn how to
read safety training manuals, employee
benefits information, help desk support
messages and other materials they need
on the job. Then, the platform " adapts
to their needs in real time " to help them
advance and grow their skills.
AN " EQUITABLE AND INCLUSIVE
ECONOMIC RECOVERY "
Voxy EnGen is launching its platform at
a pivotal time for the immigrant labor
force. According to a report by the U.S.
Joint Economic Committee, about 20%

of workers born outside the U.S. lost
their job between February and April
last year. Many of the industries that
were hit the hardest by the economic
fallout of the pandemic, such as the
hospitality and restaurant industries,
have disproportionately high numbers
of immigrant workers. In addition,
Nielson says, immigrants " tend to be the
first ones to lose jobs when something
like this happens. "

MEANINGFUL CAREER
PATHWAYS ARE KEY TO
MAKING EMPLOYMENT
MORE EQUITABLE.
" We should take this opportunity to try
to help these underserved populations
get the job skills they need for careers
with economic mobility. " Improving their
English language skills, she says, gives
them more opportunity for advancement
and enables them to shift into new
career paths.
As the conversation around diversity
and inclusion evolves, and we
continue to see the ripple effects of
the pandemic affect people in different
ways, it's more important than ever to
make sure that employment access
and economic mobility are equitable.
Fortunately, learning and development
professionals are in a great position to
help do just that.
Taryn Oesch DeLong is the managing
editor of digital content at Training Industry,
Inc. Email Taryn.


https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/forbrn.pdf https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/forbrn.pdf https://www.brookings.edu/research/investing-in-english-skills-the-limited-english-proficient-workforce-in-u-s-metropolitan-areas/ https://www.brookings.edu/research/investing-in-english-skills-the-limited-english-proficient-workforce-in-u-s-metropolitan-areas/ https://research.newamericaneconomy.org/report/immigrant-workers-in-the-hardest-hit-industries/ https://research.newamericaneconomy.org/report/immigrant-workers-in-the-hardest-hit-industries/ https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/9e9c9042-6ff9-4f6c-8d65-fbe2625d2143/immigrants-the-economy-and-the-covid19-outbreak-final1.pdf https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/9e9c9042-6ff9-4f6c-8d65-fbe2625d2143/immigrants-the-economy-and-the-covid19-outbreak-final1.pdf

Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021

Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021
L&D's Role in Building an Equitable Workplace
Table of Contents
Race, Gender and Age: Social Conscience of Learning
Mitigating Bias: The Role of AI in D&I
The Opportunities Embedded in the Pursuit of Equity
The Real Unsung Hero: The Training Manger's Role in Building an Equitable and Inclusive Workplace
Training's Role in Driving Leadership Diversity
Perpective-taking in VR
The Leadership Problem of Inequity
Practicing Inclusive Leadership: How Leaders Can Take Action to Improve Diversity in the Workplace
Raising the Bar on Diversity Training
Create Community in Your Organization Through the Power of Meaningful Conversations
Leading with Authenticity in a Hybrid World
Organizational Health as a Tool for Creating Transformative Workforce Development Opportunities
How L&D Can Avoid Naïve Interventions to Create an Equitable Workforce
Learning Silver Lining: How the Pandemic Might Teach Us to Balance Temperamental Needs
Normalizing Mental Health Conversations in the Workplace
Making Employment Access More Equitable with English Language Training: Voxy EnGen Announces Series A Investment
Company News
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Intro
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 2
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - CT1
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - CT2
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - L&D's Role in Building an Equitable Workplace
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 4
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 5
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Table of Contents
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 7
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 8
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 9
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 10
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Race, Gender and Age: Social Conscience of Learning
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 12
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Mitigating Bias: The Role of AI in D&I
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 14
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - The Opportunities Embedded in the Pursuit of Equity
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 16
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - The Real Unsung Hero: The Training Manger's Role in Building an Equitable and Inclusive Workplace
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Training's Role in Driving Leadership Diversity
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 19
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 20
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 21
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Perpective-taking in VR
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 23
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 24
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 25
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - The Leadership Problem of Inequity
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 27
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 28
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 29
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 30
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 31
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 32
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 33
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 34
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 35
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 36
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 37
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Practicing Inclusive Leadership: How Leaders Can Take Action to Improve Diversity in the Workplace
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 39
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 40
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 41
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Raising the Bar on Diversity Training
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 43
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Create Community in Your Organization Through the Power of Meaningful Conversations
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 45
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 46
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 47
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Leading with Authenticity in a Hybrid World
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 49
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 50
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 51
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Organizational Health as a Tool for Creating Transformative Workforce Development Opportunities
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 53
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 54
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - How L&D Can Avoid Naïve Interventions to Create an Equitable Workforce
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 56
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Learning Silver Lining: How the Pandemic Might Teach Us to Balance Temperamental Needs
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 58
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Normalizing Mental Health Conversations in the Workplace
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Making Employment Access More Equitable with English Language Training: Voxy EnGen Announces Series A Investment
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Company News
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 62
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