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Speak English?

Get your workers English-proficient and the benefits are legion.

This story appears in the April 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Today's tight job market and vibrant economy are creating entry-level jobs often filled by workers whose first language isn't English. Savvy entrepreneurs are not only tapping into this rich segment of the labor pool but also strengthening the value of those employees by helping them learn English through classes held at work.

The benefits are numerous, says Beth Larson, coordinator of the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) department at Seminole Community College in Sanford, Florida. The advantages of having employees with improved language skills include:

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