Hobbs Bilingual Incentive Program Offers $1,500 To Participants - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Hobbs Bilingual Incentive Program Offers $1,500 To Participants

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Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

Since the city of Hobbs launched their new bilingual incentive between 80 and 90 people are actually participating in the program which adds $1,500 extra to their paychecks per year.

"This is all I know is to help," Jose Manuel Marquez, Building Official for the City of Hobbs, said.  

Marquez is a participant in the Bilingual Incentive Program. Since he was young, he learned to serve others which is also a huge part of this new program.

"The employee has confidence to talk to [others], knowing that they can communicate to them as well. That way they have the assurance to do that. They come in, feel free and comfortable to communicate and that's what we want," Marquez said.

What prompted this launch? With the increasing rise in Spanish speakers in the area, the city recognized that and got the ball rolling. What if you don't know Spanish? No problem. Everyone is welcome to take the language test to qualify. If you meet the language standards and you continue training throughout the year, the incentive is yours. If you don't pass, no worries. You can always take the test again.

The Hobbs Police Department already teaches certain phrases in Spanish to beginners.

"Asking for their license, registration, those types of things. But to have someone that can actually tell them why they're pulling them over, exactly what we can do for them if they call from their house to report something, that's really an added plus for us," Mike Stone, Public Information Officer with the Hobbs Police Department, said.

If you are a veteran or even a beginner in the Spanish language, the City of Hobbs encourages everyone to take the language test. It could 'pay off' in the end.