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EnglishUSA project expects $5m in exports

Projections from EnglishUSA indicate that nearly $5 million in exports will be produced during a project period funded by the US government.

Photo: pexels

Delk-Le Good said the funding will help increase the visibility of US-based English language programs in America and in markets overseas

The post-secondary English language program membership organisation – established in 1986 – has also joined calls on the US government to maintain efficient visa processing as the US market recovers from the pandemic.

EnglishUSA was awarded one of six grants from the Department of Commerce as part of the Market Development Cooperator Program.

The intent of the awards is “to promote US exports and reduce barriers to US products and services across the world, including creating and retaining high-quality jobs”.

EnglishUSA has also urged support for a campaign calling on US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to make waivers instituted to ease student visa processing delays during the Covid-19 pandemic permanent.

In September 2021, the US said some applicants could benefit from interview waivers, while other could attend virtual interviews.

Stakeholders such as the Presidents Alliance and NAFSA are calling on the Bureau of Consular Affairs to “permanently maximize alternatives to in-person visa interviews by providing waivers, virtual interviews, extension of visa eligibility waivers, and all other practicable options”.

For the new Department of Commerce project, the group intends to concentrate primarily on the South and Central American markets.

EnglishUSA will begin the initiative by aggregating data regarding the needs of potential international clients. Using the grant funds, EnglishUSA will assist intensive English program providers in increasing exports of their services “through virtual events, outbound trade missions, and regional promotion”, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in her statement to EnglishUSA.

Cheryl Delk-Le Good, executive director of EnglishUSA, plans to collaborate with both international and domestic partners to support the enrolment of additional English language program students across the country. Currently over 200 member programs across the US are composed of private language schools, university, college, and community-college IEP programs.

“We are honoured to have received the MDCP grant for our three-year project ‘Promoting and Supporting English Language Study in the USA’,” Delk-Le Good told The PIE.

“Our five complementary initiatives will assist in the industry’s recovery”

With its own resources, EnglishUSA will collaborate with International Trade Administration members globally to help eliminate trade barriers and to promote US exports.

Delk-Le Good said the funding and cooperation with stakeholders will help increase the visibility of US-based English language programs in America and in markets overseas by “highlighting the importance of the industry within the larger field of international education and with US education exports”.

EnglishUSA held a virtual event on September 30.

“Our five complementary initiatives, kicking off with an enhanced data collection project and supported by multiple promotional activities, will assist in the industry’s recovery,” Delk-Le Good stated.

“The commitment by the association, its quality programs, and EnglishUSA’s partners will be crucial as we work together to provide data that will inform the markets worldwide,” she added.

The timing of the awards coincided with EnglishUSA’s annual Stakeholders Conference. This year, the conference incorporated a virtual event on September 30, as well as an in-person conference on October 13-14 in Arlington, Virginia.

As well, the theme of this year’s conference, Collaborating Near and Far, addressed the very nature of the grant funding. The selection of the 10th annual theme was aimed at reflecting the conference’s hybrid format as well as honouring “the ongoing resiliency, resourcefulness, and creativity on which [the] industry thrives”.

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