(312) Implementing and Assesing a Bilingual Educational Program for Hispanic Nursery Workers in Ohio

in HortScience

Hispanics are becoming the main source of labor in many productive- and service-oriented businesses in the United States, and the nursery industry is one example. Employers invest much time and money into employees, making the employees their biggest investment. However, the educational needs of Hispanic employees have not been adequately addressed, and no formal educational program for Hispanic workers in the nursery industry has been implemented and tested in Ohio. This project has two objectives: 1) measure the impact of a bilingual educational program containing instruction in horticulture and instruction in life skills to a Hispanic workforce, and 2) investigate which type of training is more essential to the stabilization of the Hispanic family unit, technical horticultural training, or training in life-skills. Eight nurseries throughout Ohio were selected to participate in this project. At each of the nurseries, an average group size of 15 employees was trained. Only half of this number participated in the social skills lessons to determine differences between the group who received social skills lessons and the group who did not. Three horticultural topics were selected: basic plant structure and development, pruning, and nutrition. Forty-minute lessons in Spanish with key concepts in English were prepared with the topics mentioned. Three social skills topics were selected: meeting your and your family's needs in the United States, social support in your community, and communication. In order to measure the impact of a bilingual educational program, two tests (The Rosenberg Selfeteem and Index of Family Relationship) were applied before and after the program was performed. A course evaluation was completed by each of the participants after the program was completed.

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