- Claudio Digruttola started Bilingual Conexion with the hope of filling a gap for professional interpretation and translation services. He never expected to be a voice for so many in his community.
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Claudio Digruttola listened to the woman share her troubles. She was between jobs. She hadn’t been home to see her family in Puerto Rico. She was desperate to just be near someone who understood her situation — who understood her language.
Claudio met her when he was as an interpreter for Early Intervention, a program of the Pennsylvania Department of Education that provides coaching support and services for families with children who have developmental delays and disabilities.
For Claudio, his work doing interpretation and translation has never just been about running a successful business; it’s been about helping his neighbors.
His company, Bilingual Conexion, provided pro bono translation services for that woman while her child received care through Early Intervention. He also helped pay for her plane ticket to Puerto Rico to visit the family she was so eager to see again.
“I’ve always believed if you help people, that good deed will come back to you,” he says. “We can’t take language and communication for granted. It’s what helps us realize we’re really all just trying to connect.”
Building a business
Claudio quit his job working as a VP for a distribution company to get Bilingual Conexion up and running. He even worked in a restaurant on the weekends until he had enough business.
Today, he has 28 interpreters who conduct Spanish and Arabic translations throughout York and Lancaster counties.
His clients include York County Prison, Early Intervention in York and Lancaster counties, York Adams Drug and Alcohol Centers, WellSpan’s Philhaven facilities, and Schreiber Pediatric.
As his business grew, he relied on CGA Law Firm to serve as a trusted advisor through the legalities of his blooming business.
Over the years, Claudio tried to be a solution to someone’s problems, no matter the budget. He does it because he sees how important communication is to someone improving their life. For many of those he serves, the information is life-changing.
“In the Spanish community, we often say ‘yes’ even if we don’t understand what’s being said,” Claudio says. “Sometimes, you have to be face-to-face to read someone’s body language, to see their facial expressions, and know they really don’t understand. They need your help.”
He’s also teaching other people in the community how to be interpreters, so he not only can grow his business but help people find fulfilling careers.
“For someone who has worked in a warehouse but wants to help someone by being a community or medical interpreter, I’ll teach them how to do that,” he says. “I’ve never found anything more fulfilling in my life, and I want that for others.”