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Report: How HSIs Support the Latinx Workforce

July 9, 2020
 
 

A new report examines how some Hispanic-serving institutions are preparing their Latinx students for the workforce.

Excelencia in Education, a nonprofit focused on improving and supporting Latinx student success, analyzed the practices at four HSIs: Felician University in New Jersey, Florida International University, Lehman College in New York and Texas Woman's University.

While the Latinx community is one of the fastest-growing populations in the country, the growth isn't reflected in degree attainment or in higher-paying jobs, the report said. In 2018, about one-quarter of Latinx Americans had an associate's degree or greater, compared to about half of whites.

Latinx are also overrepresented in lower-paying jobs. For example, Latinx workers represented 55 percent of painters and construction workers in 2018, but just 10 percent of management positions.

The four colleges in the report took similar approaches to support Latinx students so they can succeed in both college and the workforce, according to the report. Workforce preparation was a goal across their campuses, not just relegated to career services offices. The colleges adapted to changing workforce demands and changes in their student populations. They emphasized experiential learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom. They also revamped their workforce efforts using data. And they worked with local employers to meet regional demands and help ease the transition from college to work.

The report was originally scheduled to be released in March, but Excelencia delayed its publication to reach back to the institutions to see what had changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The colleges said they offered financial support to students as unemployment increased. As internships were canceled, many also reached out to Parker Dewey, which helps place students in remote microinternships. They also adapted to create virtual networking and mentoring opportunities for students.

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