Original URL: http://www.azstarnet.com/star/Sun/31109NWsecondary2fmst2f.html

Cable technicians gain certification in Spanish
November 9, 2003
By Karen Mracek

 Starting soon, Comcast and Cox Communications will have a new way to communicate with their customers.

Six installers and technicians from each company took the first national cable certification exam offered in Spanish on Thursday. This test is sponsored by the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers and its Operación Español initiative, which was designed to certify cable workers whose first language is Spanish.

"The Spanish-language-certification exam was developed to give our employees an equal opportunity to earn certification that may position them for promotions and pay increases," said Hilda Oropeza, director of government and public affairs for Cox Communications.

Misael Figueroa, a field technician for Comcast, began reviewing the test material about a month and a half ago using a 17-chapter book.

"I thought it was a good opportunity to expand my knowledge in the technical area," said Figueroa, a Comcast field technician who took the test at Pima Community College's Northwest Campus.

Learning the Spanish version of technical words can be difficult, he said. He met with his four-member study group once a week to review the material.

"As a field technician, I deal with the public a lot," he said. "It is helpful to know the terminology and it makes it easier to communicate with customers that may only speak Spanish."

Figueroa hopes to use his new knowledge to give customers a better understanding of the services they are receiving.

This is the first time the test has been offered, but the local chapter of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers will begin offering it quarterly - more often if there is a high demand for it, Oropeza said. "We'll continue to look for ways to include more people in our business."

* Contact reporter Karen Mracek at 573-4179 or kmracek@ azstarnet.com.