Building Skills Partnership

BSP in the Press

 NCLR RGBcomcast

NCLR and Comcast Partner to Support Technology Initiatives for Hispanic Americans
National Council of La Raza and Comcast
Published: July 25th, 2016
Contact: Camila Gallardo,

Interview of Aida Cardenas: Bringing Skills to Janitors in Downtown Los Angeles
LA City View 35
Airing #67
To view: click on link above and select segment #67, to minute 14:30.

Google staffers, janitors pair up for ESL
Published: November 7, 2012
Author: Meredith May

Google tutors and Silicon Valley janitors build language and relationships
Published on: 10/19/2012
Author: Mike Cassidy
Link to Article:

Building Skills Partnership Wins National Award for Their Innovative Immigrant Integration Work
Published on: September 21, 2012
Author: Beatriz Lopez

Conferencia Nacional de Inmigracion en Baltimore (The National Immigrant Integration Conference)
Air date: September 24, 2012

The Migration Policy Institute
BSP Winner of The E Pluribus Unum Prize
Published Date: September 20, 2012

Radio Bilingue Highlights BSP’s Computer Classes for Silicon Valley Janitors
Air Date: Friday, December 9, 2011
Program: Noticiero Latino

Audible Radio Bilingue Interview (Spanish)
Transcribed Interview (Spanish)
Online Radio Bilingue Transcript (Online)

Job Skills Provider wins Two Microsoft Grants
Published Date: Saturday, October 23, 2010
Section: Around the Valley

PDF Version of Article

Community colleges to get funds for retraining
Published Date: Sunday, May 30, 2010
Writer: Tom Abate, Chronicle Staff Writer

Link to full article
Excerpt from Article: “Retraining often requires expensive equipment, constant revamping of curriculum, and coordination with employers and other services,” said Alison Ascher-Webber with the Building Skills Partnership, a labor-management group in Oakland. “There’s no incentive in the funding system to maintain them [retraining], especially when budgets are tight.”

The results speak for themselves. [BSP] has a 95% graduation rate compared with just 65% of other ESL programs. One of the most important aspects of the program is that [janitors] get to learn English at their regular place of employment during work hours. That means they not only get paid to learn English, but there is no extra time to travel to another location. [And] by hosting the English courses, companies get better customer service from their janitors.
– CBS News

Learning the Language: Student Tutors and Campus Janitors Share Conversation, Pizza in Late-Night Sessions

Published Date: May/June 2004

Link to Online Article

Excerpt from Article: Habla La Noche—The Night Speaks—was launched two years ago by students from the Stanford Labor Action Coalition. Two evenings a week, it draws 20 workers to El Centro Chicano for English tutoring during their 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. “lunch break.” Another dozen janitors, mostly women, show up at noon twice a week for a day-shift program run by junior Laura Avina. The ABM Janitorial Services workers use the sessions to practice their conversational skills, unpack English idioms and learn how to write notes to their children’s teachers.

1200 Foundation

Newsletter 2007

PDF Version of Full Length Newsletter

Excerpt from Article:  As one graduate [janitor] said, “I want to learn English. I made a promise to my children. I want to be a model for their education.”

BOMA Tower Holds Second Building Skills Partnership Graduation
Published Date: October 12, 2007

 PDF Version of Article

Excerpt from Article: [Janitors] work hard to complete their cleaning duties so they may attend class…new English skills can help [them] manage a difficult situation at their property.

At Stanford, Tutoring Helps Make a Janitor Less Invisible

Published Date: January 26, 2005

Writer: Samuel G. Freeman, The New York Times

Link to full article online version
New York Times Article PDF version 

Excerpt from Article: Learning even the rudiments of English can save a janitor from being fired for not responding to a request he does not understand. With some fluency, a janitor can get off the night shift and onto days…An immigrant can try to pass the citizenship test…Meanwhile, the tutoring provides a sense of purpose and human connection that cannot be taught.

Stanford Students Tutor Service Workers on Campus
Air Date: April 14, 2005

Audible Version of Program
Link to NPR Online Program

Excerpt from Article: Two worlds have come together in a rare teaching program. Students at Stanford University are reaching across a cultural divide to help tutor the Mexican immigrants who clean their classrooms and dorms.

Index of Silicon Valley – 2008

Link to Online Full Length Report

Excerpt from Article: To bridge to a mid-wage job, critical skills such as basic English are in high demand among lower wage workers in the region. In addition to the costs of ESL courses, the nature of low-wage work is that people typically have more than one job. This severely limits their ability to take part in formal classes…To help mitigate mismatches of supply and need, the local nonprofit BSP works with employers and unions to provide janitors in the region with ESL and basic computer literacy training at the worksite and during working hours in order to reach out to the most workers with the greatest needs.

HP is Inaugural Partner in English Training for Contractors

Published Date: January 13, 2005

PDF Version of Article

Excerpt from Article: The training reaps many benefits, including concrete skill development, “goodwill” with the custodial contractor and union, and an expected reduction in turnover.

Unions Target Emerging Tech
Published Date: Sunday, October 28, 2007

 Link to Full Online Article
PDF Version of Article

Excerpt from Article: The Service Employees International Union and building contractors are working together to improve the education of low wage workers.