As the immigrant population on the Eastern Shore of Maryland continues, it is essential for service providers, businesses, and community groups to have access to language services and opportunities for professional development in cultural competency.
ChesMRC’s project has already successfully addressed this issue in Talbot County and will be using the MAERDAF funding to expand this project into Caroline and Queen Anne’s counties. ChesMRC’s accomplishments to date include presenting the cultural competency program to over 350 individuals associated with associated with over 20 agencies providing services in Talbot County, hosting bi-monthly meetings since 2016 with the Talbot County Language and Cultural Competency steering committee, hosting quarterly meetings with active interpreters/bilingual workers in Talbot County, conducting 4 focus group meetings with non-English speaking clients, hosting a 1-day orientation seminar for bilingual workers, and hosting a 40-hour community interpreter training program for 31 bilingual community members.
With this funding, by June of 2019, our goal is to create a Language and Cultural Competency steering committees for Caroline and Queen Anne’s counties, host quarterly meeting with each steering committee, provide cultural competency training to 300 individuals in Caroline and Queen Anne’s counties associated with at least 15 agencies or businesses, and to create a pool of at least 40 trained interpreters for the Mid-shore region. Also, by June 2019, we hope to have created a sustainable interpreter training program in collaboration with Chesapeake College and Cross-Cultural Communications and create a sustainable business model for local interpreters and translators.