Spanish for the Green Industry: An Undergraduate Course Taught at Virginia Tech to Break Down Cultural Barriers and Build Bridges Between the Green Industry and the Latino Workforce

Kraft, Barbara
Year of Publication: 

Spanish for the Green Industry is a course taught in the Department of Horticulture at Virginia Tech. It was developed in response to the landscaping and agriculture industries request that students graduating from our horticulture and agriculture programs also have Spanish language expertise and cultural background when they graduate. The class encompasses language training, cultural awareness, and immigration issues.Students learn to be better managers of the Latino workforce through learning the language needed to supervise Latino workers in the horticulture industry and familiarizing themselves with cultural differences to better understand the needs of Latino workers.This presentation will cover how this class was developed and how it is taught so that the students enter the workforce as managers that understand cultural sensitivities and can speak important phrases to keep their job sites welcoming, safe, and running efficiently.This class has also been used as a model for similar classes being taught in the areas of hospitality, management and building construction.

Event Information
Event Title: 
CONAHEC's 12th North American Higher Education Conference - Monterrey 2008
Event Description: 

Join leaders and practitioners of higher education, business, government and students in the city of Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico for CONAHEC’s 12th North American Higher Education Conference! North Americans share many historical, cultural, and linguistic bonds and many common issues to face. With the signing of NAFTA in 1994, our region has become inextricably linked by growing economic ties. Leaders in North America recognize that regional and individual community prosperity depends largely on the global competencies of our future professionals -- today's students. Governmental and educational leaders acknowledge that higher education institutions in North America must be more proactive and offer students opportunities to gain international expertise by becoming more internationally oriented while strengthening local connections in their teaching, research and public service functions.More than a decade after NAFTA was launched, it is increasingly evident that our region cannot isolate itself, but must rather develop stronger and more productive linkages both internally and with other world regions. Higher education has an important role to play in connecting North America with the rest of the world. Together, we will revitalize the North American higher education collaborative agenda for the new political, economic and educational context in which we live today.