Cultural and Language Barriers

Powerful Essays
Topics: Employment, Culture
Cultural and Language Barriers
In the Workplace
Third in a Series of Workforce Development Board Position Papers on
Barriers to Successful Employment in Charlotte-Mecklenburg
February, 2002
Barriers to Successful Employment in Charlotte-Mecklenburg
Cultural and Language Barriers in the Workplace
Position of the Workforce Development Board:
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Workforce Development Board (WDB) recognizes that foreign-born workers are increasingly becoming a vital part of the community and the local workforce. The influx of immigrants into the community has provided an opportunity for employers to fill positions, particularly in the construction, service and manufacturing industries. While many foreign-born workers have assimilated into the workforce, others are more challenged to overcome cultural and language barriers that exist.
The WDB believes that it is in the best interest of employers to better understand and help bridge the cultural and language divide as more foreign-born workers stream into the workforce. Being proactive in helping break down these barriers can:
Reduce costly, on-the-job accidents caused by workers not fully understanding safety rules or operational procedures;
Improve employers’ ability to recruit, hire and retain workers; and
Increase workers’ productivity.
To help employers better understand language and cultural barriers in the workplace and what they can do to help their workers overcome them, the WDB has developed this position paper as part of a series of papers on barriers to successful employment in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. It provides an overview of:
1) The demographic shifts in the workforce;
2) Common language and cultural barriers;
3) Ways in which employers can help bridge the language and cultural divide; and
4) Examples of local companies that have implemented business practices that address language and cultural barriers in the workplace.
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Barriers to Successful Employment in

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