America’s burgeoning Latino population offers a majoropportunity for employers to address skill gaps in their workforce,proclaims a new report authored jointly by theCongressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and the Society for HumanResource Management.

|

The opportunity comes from the enormous population growth.Hispanics account for 19 percent of millennials, and will likelyaccount for an even larger share of the next generation ofAmericans to enter the workforce. Indeed, roughly a third of theoverall U.S. Latino population is under the age of 18.

|

In addition, the fact that many Latinos are bilingual alsopresents a key opportunity for companies seeking to connect withSpanish-speaking customers.

|

The challenge, however, is Hispanics are less likely to have theeducation necessary to do manyof the jobs that employers are desperate to fill. The percentage ofLatinos with college educations — 18.6 percent — is significantlylower than among African Americans (27.3 percent) or whites (37.7percent).

|

"Latinos lack the proper education and training to be viable,marketable candidates ... for the jobs of the future," saidDomenika Lynch, CHCI president, in the report.

|

"We have to make sure we get more of our folks graduating fromhigh school and college," said Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, added."We need to make sure we get higher levels of education ... then wecan increase our income. They're [both] tied in."

|

The good news is that there is strong evidence that theeducation gap is closing. College enrollment among Hispanics roseby 34 percent between 1998 and 2012, and from 2010 to 2013, thenumber of Latinos acquiring science, technology, engineering andmath certifications increased 160 percent.

|

While the Latino population is poised to continue growing forthe foreseeable future, it may not increase as rapidly as it wasprojected to grow a few years ago. More U.S. residents are movingto Mexico than vice-versa, and Mexico has lost its place to Chinaand India as the top source of immigration to the UnitedStates.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.