Hispanics continue to be the most under-represented ethnic group recruited by federal agencies, according to a new report published by the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda.
Antonio R. Flores, president and CEO of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, says the federal government needed to take more aggressive action to “recruit tomorrow’s work force into its ranks.”
“One in three people currently entering the work force are Hispanic, and by the year 2020 that number will change to one in two. Federal agencies need to market their missions and careers to the Hispanic community, have active partnerships with Hispanic organizations, reach out to the Hispanic community and to the pool of potential employees at Hispanic-serving Institutions with their recruitment messages,” Flores says.
HACU was among a coalition of groups criticizing the federal government this week for the under-representation of Hispanics in government jobs. Although Hispanics make up 13.5 percent of the U.S. population, they account for just 7.4 percent of the federal work force.
HACU’s National Internship Program and Cooperative Education Program are good tools federal agencies can use to increase the Hispanic work force, says the report. Both programs provide paid internships to college students and, later, convert interns into permanent federal employees.
In an internal analysis on the impact of the program on its work force, the United States Department of Agriculture found that 21 percent of former HACU interns were now USDA employees, and 36 percent were working at another federal agency or nonprofit organization.
Flores says the lack of a strong Hispanic work force in the federal government is too important to be ignored in the light of the country’s youngest and fastest-growing demographic.
“The United States government must have a work force that reflects this changing demographic. We need to make a real difference now. HACU is committed to building a truly diverse workplace with our federal partners,” he says.
— Diverse staff reports
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