As Ohio’s most diverse city, Cleveland is celebrated for its rich tapestry of cultures and languages.  As the city strives to modernize and streamline its services, the spotlight turns to the essential 311 non-emergency line—a critical resource for residents to report issues or seek assistance with city services, from potholes to trash pickup.


During a pivotal budget meeting earlier this year, Cleveland's Chief Technology Officer, Roy Fernando, unveiled plans to revolutionize city government, with a keen focus on enhancing the 311 service. Amid these discussions, Ward 14 Council Member Jasmin Santana, who represents a district with a significant Spanish-speaking population, raised a crucial question: How equipped is the 311 service to cater to the city's linguistically diverse residents?


The answer shed light on a critical partnership between Cleveland and LanguageLine. Despite the absence of bilingual specialists directly within the 311 support team, LanguageLine has been pivotal in ensuring that language is no barrier to accessing city services. This collaboration is not just a matter of convenience but a federal mandate, underscoring the importance of making services accessible to individuals with limited English proficiency.


In 2022 alone, LanguageLine facilitated 497 calls to the 311 line, interpreting over 5,271 minutes of conversation. More than 85 percent of these calls were in Spanish, reflecting the demographic trends of the area and highlighting the essential nature of such services in fostering an inclusive, responsive city government.


Cleveland's commitment to inclusivity is further underscored by its demographic diversity. With no ethnic or racial majority, Cleveland stands as Ohio's most ethnically and racially diverse city. The 2020 census revealed a population where 14.7 percent speak a language other than English at home, including Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Albanian, and various Slavic languages. This linguistic diversity presents a unique challenge for city services, one that LanguageLine Solutions meets with its comprehensive language access solutions.


Around The Clock Assistance


LanguageLine's role goes beyond mere interpretation. With over 20,000 certified interpreters proficient in more than 240 languages, LanguageLine offers on-demand, 24/7 assistance, ensuring that every resident, regardless of their language, can access city services efficiently and effectively. This partnership is not just about overcoming language barriers; it's about creating a city that listens to, understands, and serves all its residents with dignity and respect.


As Cleveland looks forward to a $4 million upgrade of the 311 platform, which will enhance call tracking and resolution processes, the partnership with LanguageLine remains a cornerstone of the city's commitment to service excellence and community engagement. This upgrade promises to not only improve service delivery but also provide valuable insights into the needs and preferences of Cleveland's diverse population.


Diverse Cities Choose LanguageLine


Why do North America's most diverse cities choose LanguageLine? The answer lies in our world-class interpreters, unrivaled service excellence, and unwavering commitment to partnership. LanguageLine is not just an interpreting service; we are your partner in creating a more inclusive, accessible, and connected community.


In Cleveland, as in many other cities across the continent, LanguageLine Solutions is more than a service provider; we are a vital link in the chain of community engagement and inclusivity. As we look to the future, our mission remains clear: to bridge linguistic divides, foster understanding, and build stronger, more cohesive communities, one conversation at a time.

To learn more about our how you can better serve the public in 240 languages, please visit our website

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