The passing of SB 22-140 tasked the Office of New Americans (ONA) to create a Virtual, Career-Aligned English as a Second Language (VCESL) Program to ensure that English Language Learners (ELLs) in Colorado have access to high quality work-based learning, job training, and employment opportunities; as well as supports in order to be successful in the VCESL Program.
The VCESL Program will provide career and sector-specific, adult English language courses via English digital platforms. These platforms will help to prepare our New Americans and help them to build the skills they’ll need in order to navigate and access Colorado’s growing workforce.
This program is the first of its kind in the nation, and demonstrates ONA’s ongoing commitment to serving the New American population in the state of Colorado.
Am I Eligible?
There are three eligibility criteria for the VCESL Program. Individuals must be:
- 18 years of age or older;
- A resident of Colorado; and
- An English Language Learner (ELL).
Purpose and Goals of the VCESL Program
- Provide New Americans with the tools they’ll need to access and eventually plug into sector-specific workforce industries.
- Help New Americans, particularly in “ESL deserts,” (areas where ESL classes may be difficult to access) by providing them greater access to digital platforms that will help them successfully enter Colorado’s growing workforce.
- Upskill, reskill, and expand the talent pool of employees in much needed sectors.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the VCESL Program:
Q. How much does the VCESL program cost?
A. The entire program is free of charge.
Q. Are these ESL classes like general ESL classes?
A. No. These classes are career-specific courses that have been specifically designed for New Americans who may be entering the workforce, seeking to transition to a better job, or simply wanting to improve their English skills to become stronger candidates for more lucrative job opportunities in much-needed sectors and industries.
If you would like to learn more about the VCESL Program, or if you would like to partner with the Office of New Americans (ONA), please email Candace Heckstall, VCESL Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partner with ONA through the VCESL Program
Are you an employer, small to mid-sized business, or workforce development center? Interested in partnering with New Americans? Learn more about the Virtual, Career-Aligned English as a Second Language Program by signing up at our VCESL Interest Form below.