skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Friday, April 19, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

As Latino Workforce Grows, 'Urgent Need’ to Improve Access to Digital Economy

play audio

Friday, September 15, 2023   

By Ramona Schindelheim for WorkingNation.
Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan for Kentucky News Connection reporting for the WorkingNation-Public News Service Collaboration

There are more than 63.7 million Latinos in the United States, making it the nation's largest racial or ethnic minority at 19.1% of the total population.

They also make up about 20% of the nation's workforce.

Latinos are the youngest cohort in the country's population with a median age of around 30, while the U.S. population, as a whole, is around 38.5.

Between now and 2030, 78% of the net new workers in the country - people entering the labor market minus the people retiring from the labor market - will be Latino, according to a forecast from the U.S. Department of Labor.

As our economy continues to shift the way we work, more than nine out of ten job postings (92%) in the country now require some level of digital skills development. However, more than half of Latinos (57%) have low to no digital skills.

"These data points show us the very urgent need to make sure that Latino workers get proper access to digital skills training opportunities. We really need to double down on our efforts to make sure that Latino workers, Latino business owners, and the Latino community as a whole, have the right tools to fully participate in the digital economy," says Diego Deleersnyder, associate director for Policy & Research at the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society program.

He leads the Latino Digital Inclusion Initiative, which aims at identifying, developing, and uplifting promising ecosystem approaches that better prepare Latinos to compete in a 21st century digital economy.

Earlier this summer, Latinos and Society released the Aspen Principles for Latino Digital Success, a series of guidelines to inform the design and implementation of effective digital equity efforts targeting the Latino community.

These principles compile the main takeaways from the January meeting of the Aspen Latino Digital Success Task Force, co-chaired by Hector Mujica,; Juan Otero, Comcast Corporation; and Amanda Renteria, Code for America.

Expanding access to the the digital economy

Deleersnyder says the group envisions the principles and their accompanying questions as a framework for decision makers in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors on how to better support the Latino community in this journey.

"Basically, it's four principles. The first one of them is digital access, which focuses on the aspects that need to be considered when developing policies or initiatives that aim at improving the access to internet and digital devices in the Latino community," he says.

"The second one is around digital skills - a series of guidelines on how to make sure that the digital skills programming aligns with the needs and expectations of the Latino community, understanding that the Latino community is very heterogeneous, and that there is no one size fits all."

The third principle is digital empowerment.

"This is basically to ensure that the private sector, the companies, the organizations, the employers, provide the tools that employees need in order to successfully growing their careers. This is not just about training the people. If the people that get trained don't have proper access, there is no pipeline into high-quality jobs in the tech sector or good jobs in other industries that increasingly require digital skills, then all that effort is for nothing, right?" Deleersnyder continues.

The fourth principle is around sustainability - making certain there are sufficient investments across the capital continuum to support digital equity efforts in the long run.

He explains, "It's a reflection on how right now there is a unique opportunity with all the public funding becoming available for digital equity efforts. And that's amazing. That's great news for all of us. But we need to make sure that we also start thinking of alternative sources of funding, focusing on the importance of securing funding from philanthropy, but also identifying innovative ways of funding some of these programs. And also the discussion around impact, how we can make sure that the dollars are going to the most impactful initiatives, because at the end of the day, the resources are limited."

Deleersnyder points out that given the size and projected growth of the Latino workforce, it is imperative that the public, nonprofit, and private sectors act now to arm that workforce with the skills it needs to succeed.

"If the Latino workforce doesn't have the tools they need in order to succeed in the digital economy, this is going to impact negatively the competitiveness of the U.S. economy, as a whole. So, definitely, this is something of interest not only to Latinos, but to the whole of the U.S economy and the whole of the U.S. society."

Ramona Schindelheim wrote this article for WorkingNation.

get more stories like this via email

more stories
The Bureau of Land Management's newly issued Public Lands Rule is designed to safeguard cultural resources such as New Mexico's Chaco Culture National Park. (Photo courtesy SallyPaez)


play sound

Balancing the needs of the many with those who have traditionally reaped benefits from public lands is behind a new rule issued Thursday by the Bureau…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Alzheimer's disease is the eighth-leading cause of death in Pennsylvania. A documentary on the topic debuts Saturday in Pittsburgh. "Remember Me: …

Social Issues

play sound

April is Financial Literacy Month, when the focus is on learning smart money habits but also how to protect yourself from fraud. One problem on the …

Outdoor recreation added $11.7 million to the Arizona economy in 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. (Adobe Stock)


play sound

Arizona conservation groups and sportsmen alike say they're pleased the Bureau of Land Management will now recognize conservation as an integral part …

play sound

Across the U.S., most political boundaries tied to the 2020 Census have been in place for a while, but a national project on map fairness for …

The 2023 Annie E. Casey Foundation Data Book ranked Arkansas 37th in the nation for education, and said 56% of young children were not in preschool programs to help get them ready for school. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The need for child care and early learning is critical, especially in rural Arkansas. One nonprofit is working to fill those gaps by giving providers …


play sound

An annual march for farmworkers' rights is being held Sunday in northwest Washington. This year, marchers are focusing on the conditions for local …


play sound

As state budget negotiations continue, groups fighting climate change are asking California lawmakers to cut subsidies for oil and gas companies …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021