Chamber of Commerce Launches English Language Program for Flushing Community

Business Leaders Step Up to Address Lack of Public Investments in Literacy Education
FLUSHING, N.Y. - Feb. 25, 2015 - PRLog -- The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce announced the establishment of “English Now!” a new intermediate and advanced-level ESL (English as a Second Language) literacy program designed to help the Flushing community.  “English Now!” – organized in collaboration with Monroe College, a Chamber member – is designed to meet the needs of non-native English speakers who wish to improve their English language proficiency at an advanced level both professionally and socially. The goal is to help students expand their oral and written communication as well as their professional and social etiquette – with an emphasis on strengthening skills necessary for success in America’s workplace.

“Language is one of the major challenges facing our business community and we are proud to take a leadership role in addressing this issue with resources from our own network,” stated Simon Gerson, Managing Principal of Gerson Properties and Co-Chair of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce.

According to a January 2015 report by the Center for an Urban Future, in New York, “the number of residents who speak English less than very well grew by 14 percent—or 273,000 residents—between 2005 and 2013. But the number of state-funded ESOL seats across the state declined by 32 percent during this period.” Queens County has 600,000 limited English proficient (LEP) speakers – the highest number of any county in New York.

"This is a great partnership between the Flushing Chamber and Monroe College to promote small business development and a vital service for the growth of Flushing,” stated Chris Kui, Executive Director of AAFE and Co-Chair of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce.

“Monroe is excited to partner with the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce on this important program for our community. We feel there is a need within the immigrant communities of Queens for a quality ESL program geared to professionals seeking to advance their careers,” stated Evan Jerome, Senior Vice President at Monroe College.  “This program will be geared to students with an intermediate level of ESL to advance both their written and oral communication skills.”

This pilot program will begin with a 12-week semester in April.  Participants must commit to two classes (six hours) per week.  There will be no tuition for this college-level instruction, but participants will be asked to pay $40 to help cover materials.  If successful, this pilot program will be expanded to additional courses in September and January.

“This partnership between the Flushing Chamber of Commerce and Monroe College to create ‘English Now!’ is an example of what we can accomplish when business and community come together,” said Senator Toby Ann Stavisky. “There is an incredibly high demand for English classes in our community and I am glad that this free resource will be available to everyone who wants to improve their English skills. Communication is the key to building strong diverse communities and I look forward to seeing graduates of these classes investing in our public life by joining community groups or starting small businesses.”

The deadline for registration is Friday, March 20.  Registration forms are available by calling (914) 740-6614 or emailing

"I am so happy that the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce is launching their ‘English Now!’ program to help our community grow.  I am very supportive of ESL programs and know that this will be a huge contribution to our community,” stated Assemblyman Ron Kim.  “The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce helping our small business owners and professionals get this chance to grow and nurture their skills and talents is a great example of our community supporting one another and I look forward to working with them in doing more of this work."

“English Now!” will focus on the four links to fluency: universal topics, dynamic vocabulary, essential grammar, and confident communication. Course instructors will review real world scenarios where a strengthening of skills will improve your professional and social communication.  Class topics will include: “Global Topics “ (students improve their English skills by discussing global issues), “Dynamic Vocabulary” (students acquire and expand vocabulary through word families and useful expressions), “Essential Grammar” (instructors teach grammar through innovative techniques focused on the needs of each student), “Confident Communication” (frequent and fun exercises will build your confidence utilizing newly acquired language skills), “Introductions,” “Negotiations and Networking,” Workplace Etiquette,” “Digital Etiquette,” and “Phone Etiquette.”

"English Now!" is a promising program being made available to business owners, their employees and other professionals in the Flushing community to help them strengthen their English language skills," said Council Member Koo. "The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce and Monroe College are to be commended for identifying and prioritizing this need, then coming together to make this initiative possible."

All instruction will take place at Monroe College’s Queens Extension Site Campus, located at 135-16 Roosevelt Avenue in downtown Flushing.  Students who complete the courses will obtain a certificate of completion and a free career counseling session with the Office of Career Services at Monroe College.

Photos of this announcement are available via Google Drive (  Photos picture (left to right): James Chen, FCBA Board Member and owner of; Evan Jerome, Senior Vice President of Monroe College; John Choe, Executive Director of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce; Simon Gerson, Managing Principal of Gerson Properties and Co-Chair of the Flushing Chamber; Chris Kui, Executive Director of AAFE and Co-Chair of the Flushing Chamber; and, Yuh-line Niou, Chief of Staff to Assemblyman Ron Kim.

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Page Updated Last on: Feb 25, 2015

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