Ismeilyn, a recent immigrant from the Dominican Republic, wanted to learn English to expand her job opportunities in the U.S. She was able to, thanks to an outcomes-based funding partnership between impact investors, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Social Finance, Jobs for the Future, and JVS Boston called Massachusetts Pathways to Economic Advancement.
This results-based partnership leveraged investor capital, enabling JVS Boston to scale up a unique model that integrates English language instruction with workforce development services to limited English speakers across the Commonwealth. Beyond equipping participants with language skills, the program offered job search assistance, career coaching, and interview training to participants like Ismeilyn to help them successfully transition into higher-wage jobs and higher education programs.
According to an interim evaluation by Economic Mobility Corporation, an independent evaluator, the program’s English for Advancement (EfA) track generated large earnings gains for participants during the two years after they enrolled.
Ismeilyn was one such participant. Soon after completing classes, she landed a job at Monogram Gourmet Foods, a packaged-food company in Wilmington. The job quickly led to a promotion.
The program “helped me a lot because when I came here, I knew nothing,” Ismeilyn told The Boston Globe in 2020. “I was so shy. I’m still shy, but a little less because of the class. I feel more confidence now.”
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Photo courtesy of JVS Boston.