Around this time each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month. This month long celebration recognizes the contributions and cultures of American citizens whose ancestors immigrated from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
According to the Pew Research Center, almost a fifth of the total U.S. population is Hispanic. With a population of over 57 million, they are the second –fastest growing racial group within the country. In 2014, Hispanic Americans accounted for 16.1% of the 146.3 million employed people in the United States. And in 2015, 12% of all active-duty personnel in the American military were Hispanic, three times the size in 1980.
This celebration pays tribute to the Hispanic Americans, both past and present, who are positively influencing our society and country for the better. Whether it through art, music, food, or labor, Hispanics Americans have had a dramatic impact on our country and will help shape the future of the nation.
It’s no doubt that the role that Hispanic Americans play in the American workforce is constantly growing. With the goal of developing a workforce to meet our country’s current and future needs, we should draw on the experience, history, and diversity of these Americans.
Last year local Goodwill organizations provided job-training and other services to nearly 225,000 people of Hispanic origin. As Goodwill members across the country pause to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we take the opportunity to recommit ourselves to helping all people from all backgrounds, including Hispanics, reach their potential by helping them find meaningful employment and advancing in their careers.
Goodwill works to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their full potential through learning and the power of work. Currently, Goodwill Advocates are working to preserve many federally funded job training programs utilized throughout the Goodwill network.
If you or someone you know has benefited from a publicly funded program, please Share Your Story with us so we can demonstrate to lawmakers the importance of these public investments while they continue to debate the upcoming federal budget.