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Bridging Language Barriers

Mecklenburg County is embarking on a new effort to reach residents with limited English language skills.


October 24, 2007

Mecklenburg County has announced a new outreach effort designed to increase awareness of and access to County services among residents who have limited English language proficiency.

Mecklenburg County has announced a new outreach effort designed to increase awareness of and access to County services among residents who have limited English language proficiency.

Board of County Commissioners Chairman Jennifer Roberts announced the County's Bridge 2015 program today as part of Crossroads Charlotte's effort to increase access, inclusion, trust and equity across racial and ethnic lines throughout the community.

Bridge 2015 will first focus on those who speak only Spanish or have limited English proficiency by using the following services:
· A "Welcome to Mecklenburg County" brochure published in Spanish will highlight the most-requested County services and a list of frequently called phone numbers.
· The County's eGovernment team has created a new Spanish section of our City/County Web site called http://ayuda.charmeck.org , to allow people to do some of their County business online instead of in line.
· The County's Spanish language health and safety television program, Salud y Vida, has a new look and a new mission to include information about all County services. (Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on the Government Channel -Time Warner Cable 16 - and onDemand any time at http://ayuda.charmeck.org ).
· Mecklenburg County will provide increased awareness of County services to the target audience through CharMeck 3-1-1, where a team of bilingual customer service specialists is available to help link people with County services.

"We're starting out focusing on those who speak Spanish, our largest ethnic group," said Phin Xaypangna, the senior human resources manager who facilitated the team. "Later the program will be expanded to other languages present, and growing, within Mecklenburg County."

For more information about the initiative, contact Phin Xaypangna at 704-432-3919.




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