Language options for career training

  @FortuneMagazine February 27, 2014: 7:07 AM ET
GRE17 td industries

Welders in TDIndustries' prefab shop produce pipe that will be used in construction projects in Texas and Arizona.

(Fortune)

TDIndustries
100 Best Companies to Work For Rank: 82
Headquarters: Dallas
Employees: 1,800
Compensation: Project managers average an annual salary of $90,000.

Eighteen construction workers took a break in January from job sites around Texas to attend a class at TDIndustries headquarters in Dallas. One of the teachers was Mexican-born Alberto Sandoval, who began at the contracting services company as a plumber's apprentice in 1998. Sandoval's lesson plan that day had nothing to do with his expert trade. Instead he was teaching a "servant leadership" management course in his native language, Spanish.

As someone who struggled with English earlier in his career and overcame the language gap to climb through the ranks and become a superintendent, Sandoval says TD's emphasis on active listening and talent development contribute to the company's success: "When you have respect for people, they'll respect you. When you earn the respect from a lot of guys, that's going to take you a long way."

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