Within the last five years, Jacksonville has become home to almost 6,000 refugees, representing almost 50 different countries. These new U.S. residents are required to attain employment within 90 days, and transportation is a key factor to their success. It is also the number one barrier they face when looking for work.
When LSS Project Development Specialist and AmeriCorps VISTA Ruth Brown noticed that the Jacksonville Transit Authority’s website is only available in English and Spanish, she encouraged the Refugee Transportation and Employment Program’s Advisory Board to write a letter to JTA’s Diversity and Equity Program to find out why the website wasn’t available in more languages.
On May 18, the Senior Manager of the Diversity and Equity Program, Ken Middleton, was a guest at the Advisory Board’s meeting. The board represents stakeholders who have a vested interest in the success of refugee resettlement and employment efforts, and Mr. Middleton had come to respond to its letter.
After reviewing the board’s request, Mr. Middleton announced that his department will spearhead the translation of the JTA website into over 100 languages, and that the translations should be available in about a month. The board reacted with thunderous applause, and expressed gratitude to Mr. Middleton for such a speedy and productive response. The board is looking forward to working with JTA and Mr. Middleton to provide as many resources as possible to the clients we serve here at LSS.