The State of the Latino Worker in the US


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  • THIS IS THE OPENING SLIDE AS PEOPLE LOG ON. Opening Slide (as people log on) Moderator Slide Intros (Pilar & Danny) Housekeeping Announcement (Danny) Panelist Intros (Pilar) Intro to Session (Danny), Panelist Speak Q&A Closing Remarks
  • Danny Intro – Bienvenidos and good afternoon everyone … I’m Danny Selnick, vice president for the public policy wire and LatinoWire – news distribution services for professional communicators to the media, decision-makers and to the public that’s going online looking for news and information. I’m based out of the Washington, DC office. I will be one of your moderators. Pilar Intro -- I’m Pilar Portela, Business Wire’s Media Relations Supervisor and LatinoWire Media Representative based out of the Miami. I oversee the Southeast region and National LatinoWire. I’ll be co-moderator. Today’s news event is another in the continuing series of LatinoWire Experts Webinars and is brought to you as a public service. Next slide
  • Pilar -- Before we get started two quick housekeeping announcements – today’s Webinar news conference will be recorded and will be available on in about 45 minutes. If you're tweeting updates during this session, use hashtag #bwchat. Danny – allow me to remind everyone on this call that this event is open to the media and the public, but that questions will be taken only from journalists – who -- when submitting questions must first identify themselves and the news organization they represent. Next Slide
  • Danny -- "No doubt these days what seems to matter most to the American public are "jobs and the economy."   But let's also consider that there are now some 50 million Hispanic Americans - and that nearly 65% are among the civilian workforce.  The question remains how have Hispanic workers fared since the economic recovery began.    Today on our call and with Labor Day just a few days away, we have U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis who will discuss the state of the Hispanic worker and her department's successes and challenges in creating opportunities for Hispanic women, veterans, youth, and vulnerable workers and its efforts at worker training and education for the Latino community.    Secretary Solis? (begins) Her presentation – and when she’s finished …
  • Danny, thank you for that kind introduction. Good afternoon everyone. Buenas tardes . And thank you for joining this important conversation about the state of Latinos in our economy. Next week, America will celebrate Labor Day. Since 1894, our nation has used this day to celebrate hard work—and the men and women who built the world’s strongest economy. From the Industrial Revolution to the Digital Age, the work—and workers—of this country have changed. Latinos are now fastest growing segment of the American workforce. As such, we are an essential part of our nation’s economic future. We know that our nation will only be as strong as our growing Latino community. That’s why it’s critical to keep building the ladder of opportunity for Latinos until every person in our community is thriving again. That’s what today’s webinar is about. It’s about where we started, where we are, and where we need to be.
  • When President Obama took office, our economy was in crisis. We were shedding nearly 800,000 jobs a month. And the Latino community took one of the hardest hits.   The unemployment rate peaked at 9.3 percent for white workers, but it peaked at 13 percent for Latinos during the recession. So we took quick and bold action to pull this country back from the brink and put people back to work.   We invested in mass transit , roads , and bridges to build critical infrastructure . . . We invested in education and training to skill up American workers . . . We invested in manufacturing and clean energy to boost American production and the auto industry.   Now I’m proud to say that the private sector has created 4.5 million jobs... more than half of those lost in the financial crisis. The auto industry has come back—adding nearly 250,000 jobs since the end of the recession. We haven’t seen that kind of growth since 1996.
  • And good jobs—in professional and business services, healthcare and manufacturing, are all on the rise.   Over the last 30 months, our manufacturing sector has seen its largest job gains since 1989—adding 25,000 new jobs last month alone.
  • This is a much stronger economic recovery than the last one in 2001.   Make no mistake about it: Americans are going to back to work.   And many of them are Latino.   As our economy continues to grow, so does the number of Latinos finding employment.
  • In fact, the unemployment rate is dropping faster for Latinos than the rest of the population.   Since 2010, the Latino unemployment rate has dropped 2.3 percentage points.   Compared to the last three recessions dating back to 1991, this is the fastest rebound the Latino community has experienced.
  • And Latinos are going back to work in high-paying industries—like professional and business services, education and healthcare transportation and utilities. Since 2010, the Latino unemployment rate has fallen in places like California, Florida and Texas--states where large numbers of Latinos live.
  • Women are also making significant progress.   Over the last year, we’ve also seen a spike in the number of Latinas joining the labor force and going back to work.
  • Young people in the Latino community are going back to work, too. Just last week, we reported that more Latino youth went back to work this summer than the year before. So I’m pleased to report that the Latino community is making important strides.   The progress of the last few months alone has been significant. In June, this administration announced a policy directive lifting the shadow of deportation from deserving young people who came to this country as children. Thanks to President Obama’s leadership, hundreds of thousands of our sons and daughters can now live without fear … and realize their dreams.   Additionally, the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is a huge victory for our community. As many as 9 million Latinos will be eligible to get health insurance coverage they currently lack because of this historic ruling. Those with pre-existing conditions—like diabetes or cancer—will be guaranteed health care . . . Latinas will have more access to free preventive care—like mammograms and cervical cancer screenings. And already, more than 700,000 young Latinos have been able to stay on their family's health plan because of this law.   ­ That’s progress. And it’s inspiration for us to keep going. But we still have so much work to do. There’s no silver bullet to restoring our economy overnight. That’s why President Obama continues to work toward an economy that is built to last . . . An economy built on the skills and innovation of American workers . . . .And an economy where education and skills training are accessible to everyone seeking a better future. This is critical for Latino families.
  • As you may know, the President recently announced his intent to create an $8 billion community college to career fund.   In 2010 nearly half of all young Latinos attended a community college. I’m a big fan of community colleges . . . They’re local. They provide accelerated and translatable degree programs. And they deliver training that sets people up for jobs in their community—all at very low costs.   The President wants to foster partnerships between employers, labor unions, community-based organizations and community colleges to give workers the skills that employers are looking for.   At the Department of Labor we’re playing a big role to make that happen.
  • Our TAACCT program is one way we’re being responsive to the realities of the global economy.   It provides funds for community colleges and employers to develop training programs that match what students are learning in school with the skills local businesses need right now.
  • Through the Workforce Investment Act, or WIA, we are able to fund state-run job training for adults, dislocated workers and youth. This will help parents going back to school to upgrade their skills. . . Workers whose factory moved overseas forcing them to learn a new trade . . . Or young people who may have taken a wrong turn and are looking to get their life back on track.   WIA is providing career counseling, first rate skills training, and job search and placement assistance. Latinos across the country are benefitting from this kind of lifelong learning. In each of the target categories, more than half of program participants were Latino.   We know that with more education comes more opportunity. And that is exactly why our Youth Build and Job Corps programs are so valuable to young people in our community. Both of these programs serve as critical stepping stones for Latino youth.
  • YouthBuild provides academic and occupational skills training in high-growth industries to youth ages 16-24.   Job Corps emphasizes the attainment of a High School Diploma or GED, career technical training and industry-recognized credentials.   This is important, because by 2018, 21-of-the-30 fastest growing occupations will require a postsecondary certificate or degree.   So we’ve put a greater focus on helping job-seekers get credentials that can be earned in as little as six months to two years— whether that’s an associate’s degree, a license or a certificate.   More than half of the young people who came out of Job Corps in 2010 were Latino. But Latinos of all ages and from all walks of life are going back to school to upgrade their skills to meet the demands of a global economy.
  • And many of them are going to their local American Job Center. Workers should visit “” to get started. This is our nationwide network of more than 3,000 local one stop shops that provide job counseling, training, and help looking for work. And it’s another way we’re working to make sure Latinos continue to thrive.   At these centers, workers can access all of our job training programs. They can also learn about our new online resources like and MySkillsMyFuture helps laid-off workers find new occupations based on transferable skills they’ve gained in past jobs. MyNextMove provides job search guidance, and access to certificate and apprenticeship programs.   It is particularly helpful for those with limited English proficiency and those without any post-secondary education. And it is especially helpful for veterans. That’s why we launched “My Next Move for Veterans.” This website specifically helps veterans find civilian jobs where their military skills match up.  
  • And while we are on the topic of veterans . . . I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The most important thing employers can do to honor our veterans is to hire them. And I should point out here that there are an estimated 800,000 Latino veterans in the U.S. labor force.   To help them, we’ve developed the veterans’ “Gold Card.”It allows Post-9/11 veterans to get six months of personalized job counseling.   (PAUSE)   Now let me shift gears for a moment, and talk about a few efforts we have underway to protect vulnerable Latino workers—those who work in industries like agriculture, construction and hospitality.   Over the past three years, we’ve taken aggressive action and making sure that they receive the wages they are legally owed and the respect they rightly deserve.
  • My Wage and Hour Division has more than 1,000 investigators doing this important work. Nearly half of them speak Spanish. And together we’ve conducted more than 31,000 investigations nationwide. We’ve launched initiatives to educate vulnerable workers about their rights in the workplace. We’re partnering with consulates from Central and South American countries, giving workers a safe place to get information and report wage abuse.   Last year alone, we recovered more back wages for exploited workers than any single year in our history. We are also doing creative efforts to keep workers safe.
  • Our nationwide Heat Campaign is a good example . . . we are educating employers and outdoor workers to prevent heat illnesses and death, and keep Latinos safe on the job.   The campaign has a simple message: Water. Rest. Shade. And you can help us get that message out to construction workers, roofers, landscapers, farm workers and others. Because anyone who works outside in hot weather is at risk.   And let’s not forget . . . just because we are at the end of summer, doesn’t mean that workers are no longer at risk. Record heat is still being reported in states like Idaho, Montana and North Dakota . . . and in Minneapolis, Kansas City, Denver and Oklahoma City.   Let me close by saying that we need your help reaching out to and educating the Latino community about what the Labor Department does, and what we can do for them. We want vulnerable workers to contact us with their questions and concerns.
  • The Labor Department has more than 16,000 dedicated employees, and most of them aren’t in Washington – they’re in regional offices throughout the country that are working to expand opportunities, keep workers safe, and ensure that workers keep what they earn in jobs that provide family-sustaining wages.   Encourage your readers to call our toll free helpline. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to see how the Labor Department is helping your community. Stay connected with me – and the Labor Department – through social media. And this Labor Day weekend, take a minute away from the cookouts and college football to remember what – and who – it stands for.   Since 1882, when it was first celebrated in New York City, and 1894, when it became a federal holiday, the first Monday in September has been set aside to honor and celebrate the American worker.  We call it Labor Day, and its message is simple: The great American worker is what makes America great.
  • Q&A Portion of Webinar the Secretary should invite questions…we’ll stay on this slide until closing remarks.
  • Closing remarks: Pilar – Secretary Solis, many thanks for speaking today. Danny – I’d also like to thank the Secretary for joining us … and to all those who attended today’s Webinar/News Conference – Happy Labor Day!
  • The State of the Latino Worker in the US

    1. Unparalleled reach to the US Hispanic Media and beyond Bienvenidos!The State of the Latino Worker in the US Address by Sec. Of Labor Hilda L. Solis Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012 #bwchat
    2. Moderators Pilar Portela - Danny Selnick - Media Relations Supervisor & Vice President, LatinoWire & LatinoWire Media Public Policy Services Representative#bwchat
    3. Join the Twitter conversation Use Hashtags: #bwchat #DOLonLatinos #latinos #usdol @hildasolisdol @bwlatinowire Unparalleled reach to the US Hispanic Media and
    4. Hilda L. SolisU.S. Secretary of Labor
    5. DRAFT Latinos in the Economic Recovery A Labor Day Webinar Hilda L. Solis U.S. Secretary of LaborFilename/RPS Number 5
    6. DRAFT 29 Straight Months of Private Sector Job Growth Creates Over 4.5 million JobsFilename/RPS Number 6
    7. DRAFT Industries During the RecoveryFilename/RPS Number 7
    8. DRAFT Strength in this Economic RecoveryFilename/RPS Number 8
    9. DRAFT Unemployment Rate for Latinos has dropped significantly since the end of the recessionFilename/RPS Number 9
    10. DRAFT Latino Unemployment Rate has Declined More During this Recovery than Prior RecoveriesFilename/RPS Number 10
    11. DRAFT Latinas Making Significant GainsFilename/RPS Number 11
    12. DRAFT Young Latinos Going Back to WorkFilename/RPS Number 12
    13. DRAFT Community College to Career Fund • $8 billion to foster partnerships between Community Colleges and employers. • Provides entrepreneurship training for five-million small business owners over three years. • Supports community college-based training programs that: o Meet employer needs in high growth/high demand sectors o Support on-the-job training and registered apprenticeships.Filename/RPS Number 13
    14. DRAFT Trade Adjustment Assistance and Community College Career Training Initiative • $1 billion made available and another $1 billion by 2014. • Provides community colleges with funds to deliver education and training programs that match skill with employer needs. • Four Hispanic-Serving Institutions received grant funding over the last yearFilename/RPS Number 14
    15. DRAFT Workforce Investment ActIn each target category, more than half of program participantswho went to work or on to pursue more education were Latino(April 2010-March 2011) • 76,000 Latino Adults • 53,000 Dislocated Latino Workers • 19,700 Latino Youth Filename/RPS Number 15
    16. DRAFT Training Latino Youth•Academic and occupational skills training in high-growthindustries to youth ages 16-24.•Over 4,300 participants are Latino.•Youth can earn high school diploma or GED, career technicaltraining and industry-recognized credentials.•More than half of the young people who came out of Job Corps in2010 were Latino. Filename/RPS Number 16
    17. DRAFT Find Your Local American Job Center MyNextMove.govFilename/RPS Number 17
    18. DRAFT Honoring Our Veterans Number 18
    19. DRAFT Protecting Latino Workers• Nearly 500 Spanish-speaking investigators.• More than 31,000 wage investigations nationwide.• Largest amount of wages in DOL history collected last year.  $224 million in back wages  Helped over 275,000 workersFilename/RPS Number 19
    20. DRAFT HEAT CampaignFilename/RPS Number 20
    21. DRAFT Stay Connected 1-866-4-USA-DOL @USDOL or @HildaSolisDOLFilename/RPS Number 21
    22. #bwchat #DOLonLatinos #latinos #usdol @hildasolisdol @bwlatinowireHilda L. SolisU.S. Secretary of Labor
    23. reach to the US Hispanic Media and beyond Closing Remarks