In the summer of 2022, York County Community Foundation’s Racial Equity Fund awarded a grant to Community Progress Council (CPC) for its Language Access and Equity Project. This program was implemented by CPC’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee to ensure its program participants are provided with services in their native language.
With the grant from YCCF, CPC is able to expand access to clients who speak a variety of languages , including Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Arabic. Recent data identified these as the top three languages spoken by CPC’s clients.
Translation software can’t capture the context of information or the nuances of language, which can often lead to misinterpretations and a feeling of disconnect between service providers and their clients. “Anyone who has used Google translate knows its limitations. The grant from YCCF is being used to provide human-based translation and interpretation services to clients who identify a language other than English as their primary language” shared, Luisa Olivo-Wolf, CPC’s Assistant Chief Program Officer.
The 2017 York County Hispanic and Latinx Community Assessment indicated that 88% of survey respondents speak Spanish as their primary language, and over 80% earn less than $35,000 year. Recommendations from the assessment included increased language training opportunities and language access services in York County to expand job opportunities for the Spanish community.
Additional compensation is provided to team members who speak the native language of some of CPC’s clients. By removing the language barrier, these employees are able to build stronger relationships and trust between the organization and its clients.
“Providing our clients with team members who are able to relate to their life experiences and speak their language helps us build the foundation for a meaningful connection. These relationships allow for greater clarity between our coaches and clients and help further the goal of moving our clients toward self-sufficiency.”
YCCF is proud to support a local organization that shows a continued commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.