Social Entrepreneur Michael Alden Trains Refugees to be Professional Interpreters

May 15, 2017
wbur
 
"Michael Alden, the vice president and general manager of social enterprise for Ascentria Care Alliance, discusses the mission of Language Bank, an organization that trains refugees to become professional interpreters.
 
Tell us about Language Bank:
 
I’m growing a social enterprise, Language Bank, that trains and employs refugees and other new Americans as professional language interpreters. As the number and percentage of people in the U.S. with limited English proficiency climbs, there’s a real business need for our service. We welcome, promote, and integrate refugees as members of our professional interpreter team.
 
Language Bank helps an underserved group of people access healthcare systems and the judiciary system. We empower [English language learners] to navigate a world where communication access is a real barrier to their self-sufficiency.
 
Who hires Language Bank?
 
Our clients are hospitals, courts, schools, for-profit businesses, and other types of organizations. We serve eight of the 10 largest hospitals in the state of New Hampshire and we work with several hospitals in Massachusetts as well.
 
Our customers value the fact that, unlike competitors, we train and employ our team; they see consistency and professionalism in our service, and have told us that they value our unique cultural expertise. We help businesses grow by reaching new clients, students, residents, and patients, as well as serving their existing clients and customers better."

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