Media Contacts:
Orange County Government,
IMA Medical Group,
Paramount Hospitality Management,
UCF Global,
Aeras Foundation,

Orange County Expands ESOL Pilot Program for International Drive Employees

IMA Medical Group & Paramount Hospitality Management Join Pilot Extension

Orange County GovernmentOrange County, FL – With preliminary research indicating positive outcomes in student learning and employer experience, Orange County Government is expanding its ESOL for Working Adults pilot program to include additional interested employers.

This innovative English language learning program will expand to include onsite educational instruction to employees at IMA Medical Group and Paramount Hospitality Management beginning today, Monday, June 12, 2023.

“I’m pleased that IMA and Paramount are jumping on board as this allows us to understand different opportunities within our I-Drive community,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “Early data indicates clear benefits to our workforce and employers when public and private businesses come together to remove barriers to instruction like income, transportation, and childcare. Additional findings point to improvement in guest experience and employee morale, which has led to more demand.”

The two new organizations join inaugural employer Rosen Hotels & Resorts and will provide space, time, support, and pay for their employees participating in the language learning coursework over the next eight weeks. The County will use data or information collected from these pilots to design and implement a sustainable ESOL program.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be part of the expansion of the ESOL for Working Adults program,” Marco Manzie, Founder & President of Paramount Hospitality Management said. “This program aligns seamlessly with our core belief of investing in our employees. English language proficiency is a critical tool for effective communication and personal and professional growth. This initiative enables our workforce to enhance their language skills and bridges the gap, fostering a more inclusive and diverse workplace. We eagerly look forward to witnessing the positive change this endeavor brings within our organization and to Orange County as a whole.”

“At IMA, we are committed to the professional and personal development of our employees, resulting in a joyful place to work and exceptional care for our patients,” said IMA Medical Group Chief Executive Officer Donna Walker. “Aligning with our vision, we are excited about this new partnership with Orange County and UCF Global to offer free English classes to our team members. By joining forces, we can enhance the English proficiency of our workforce, providing them the ability to expand their opportunities and better serve the patients in the IMA communities.”

Through a grant from Orange County, UCF Global is providing English language instruction tailored to the needs of individual participants and analyzing data from the pilot. Aeras Foundation facilitates digital access by distributing tablet devices to those in hybrid or online classes.


To address talent shortages, Orange County’s International Drive Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) advisory group recommended an investment in English Learning language to support professional growth and retention.

In September 2022, Orange County Government partnered with UCF Global, Rosen Hotels & Resorts and Aeras Foundation to launch a first-of-its-kind pilot program aimed at providing onsite English language instruction tailored to the needs of working adults in the I-Drive CRA.


While nearly half of the participants have been in the U.S. for more than eight years, some 60% had not taken English classes in the past; and half (50%) of this group cited work schedules as a barrier to learning English.

Early findings indicate that participants made significant learning gains in listening, grammar, vocabulary, reading and speaking. Classes were offered in-person and online, and both groups reported a high level of satisfaction (4.2 on a scale of 1-5). Qualitative data analyses and individual conversations suggest that instructors creating a safe and flexible learning environment, especially to decrease students’ affective filter and increase communication and participation, was very important.

The sponsoring employer, Rosen Hotels & Resorts, reported growth in confidence, speaking and understanding of the English language, and that associates were engaged and committed. The opportunity to attend while at work, both from a location and cost perspective, is invaluable from Rosen’s perspective.


About Orange County Government: Orange County Government strives to serve its residents and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world-famous theme parks, one of the nation’s largest convention centers and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners, including the Mayor, who is elected countywide. For more information, please visit or go to Orange County Government’s social media channels.

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