Tag Archives: Hispanic

Living the Dream: From the Fields to the Office

Great piece from the NYT on how more Latino agricultural workers are moving from working in the fields to managing agricultural businesses. Latino owned businesses grew 21% from 2007-2012. Sergio SIlva, a high school dropout, is profiled in the video below.  With his 30+ years of industry management, Sergio partnered with someone who knew the product – and a new business was born. The new business serves as inspiration for those working in the fields for them today.

Where’s Your Future Workforce? Easy as 1 + 1

Matty Iglesias reveals how the people in our work environments are getting older:

… the share of people over the age of 55 who are in the labor force has pretty steadily risen. Put that together with population aging, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the share of the workforce that’s composed of people over 55 should steadily rise over time.

I’ll add another two variables to this mix: the sluggish growth of the U.S. labor force overall, and continued growth of a young Latino workforce.

It’s remarkable how many companies still don’t understand this simple equation.

Graphic via Slate

Breathing Life into Main Street USA

The impact of Latino entrepreneur ship can be found in the most unique places.  Take Ottumwa, Iowa for instance.  Located in southeastern Iowa, the town is home to about 25,000 residents.  Like many Midwest towns, it has experienced a population decrease over the last few decades.  As a result, Ottumwa has its share of vacant 1960s-era Main Street buildings.

While this town has seen a decrease in its overall population, Latino residents are on the rise.  Along with this increase, there’s been a revitalization along Main Street.  Many of the vacant buildings are now home to new businesses started by Latino entrepreneurs. Latino entrepreneurship in these areas is a national trend.  Much of the credit can be given to people like Himar Hernandez, who works with small Latino businesses in the area.  Watch the video below and see how Latino small businesses are breathing new life into old towns.

Latino or Hispanic

It doesn’t matter to me – so I fall in the norm I guess. I use both terms interchangeably. A new study by NPR shows Latinos or (Hispanics!) are split.

NPR surveyed almost 1,500 randomly selected people to ask whether they would choose to describe themselves as Hispanic or Latino. We found a very slight preference for Hispanic, but not a terribly significant one.

Educating the Future

The Latino talent “pipeline” begins with education.

And as more Latinos enter colleges and universities, many in higher education still aren’t ready to manage the growth of Latinos on their campuses, including how to graduate them in higher numbers.

The Chronicle examines Latino demographic shifts and warns schools to pay attention:

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, The Chronicle examined by state and county the population from age 18, or zero years from traditional college age, down to age 4, or 14 years away. Younger age groups are strikingly smaller in New England, as in Rockingham County, N.H., where 18-year-olds number almost 4,500 and 4-year-olds just 2,600, a difference of more than 40 percent. With fewer young white children in almost every state, many counties’ younger age groups would be vastly smaller if not for much larger numbers of Hispanic children.

CollegeGrowth

Overcoming the Odds

It’s hard to imagine other Supreme Court justices being as open about their lives as Sonia Sotomayor.  In this interview via NPR, Justice Sotomayor discusses how her alcoholic father drank himself to death.  She mentions how a close cousin ended up committing suicide as a result of years of drugs.  Sotomayor discusses how she grew up poor, being raised by a single mother, and how through persistence and hard work, she ultimately became the first Latina to be appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Frankly, this upbringing is commonplace amongst our community.  It’s unfortunate.  While many might use this as an excuse, she used her experiences as a motivation to rise above the circumstances of her life.

Image via NPR

Cultural Brokers

Today I came across the work of Vikki Katz (Ph.D., University of Southern California) an Assistant Professor in the Communication Department of the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information.  Her research in the area of communication challenges faced by Latino immigrant families is fascinating.  In the video below, Dr. Katz discusses how children of Latino immigrants access the Internet as well as digital media.

A lot of her research also focuses on the concept of “brokering” which describes the process of how Latino children often have to facilitate the communication process for their parents – not as translators but as doers.  I can certainly relate to this concept.  Enjoy.

Is it Just a Piece of Paper?

Michael Staton writes that the value of a college degree (the actual diploma) will lose much of its value in the coming years.  Due to the onset of technology, certifications, and online learning, he sees an unbundling of higher education.

The value of paper degrees will inevitably decline when employers or other evaluators avail themselves of more efficient and holistic ways for applicants to demonstrate aptitude and skill.  Evaluative information like work samples, personal representations, peer and manager reviews, shared content, and scores and badges are creating new signals of aptitude and different types of credentials.

For my experience as a nontraditional student, recruitment manager, and an instructor, I can appreciate his point.  As a college student, I arrived to the classroom with almost seven years of work experience.  While I didn’t have any certifications or badges, I did arrive with many of the competencies usually developed over four years of college.  My academic credentials were spotty at that point, but my ability to understand real world concepts was far beyond that of my peers who had just entered college.  Once I graduated with my four year degree, I was at a decided advantage when it came to soft skills — work ethic, office politics, and time management.  One of the best compliments I received was from a manager at my first “real job” who thought I had been with the organization for many years.  He was shocked when he learned I was there only a few months.

I see the same situation and many of the same types of students in my classrooms, particularly those in the military.  Given their experiences and backgrounds, military students are able to grasp leadership concepts much faster than those that have minimal work experience.

The Trust Factor

I’ve often been asked whether race or ethnicity plays a role in the recruitment of Latino talent.  In most cases I would suggest that it doesn’t hurt to have Latinos in front of potential Latino talent. From an organization standpoint, placing Latino representatives in front of potential customers makes perfect sense.   This goes a long way in helping to build trust in the Latino community.  However, when placing Latinos at the forefront is not possible, what is the next best thing?  This recent study by Harris Interactive suggests that people who are able to build relationships, understand culture, and engage with  Latino communities are as effective in building trust.  According to the study:

When asked if it was important that their advisor understand their culture, only about one-third (31 percent of Hispanics and 36 percent of African Americans) said it was.

Graphic by Harris Interactive

Complexity and Complexions

The complexity of Latino identity is examined in the documentary, Negro— A Docu-Series about Latino Identity.  The film explores the African and Latino history in the United States, specifically Afro-Latinos from the Caribbean region. Identity, race, history and latinidad are discussed from a number viewpoints.   Ryan Hamilton discusses his perspective below – all videos can be found here.