By: Karla Bachmann, Program Manager, Workforce Development

Latino millennials are an increasingly important part of the American workforce. In the first quarter of 2015, according to Pew Research, there were 53.5 million millennials in the labor force, and more than 20% were Latino. That percentage is expected to grow exponentially.

Mi Casa Bank Teller Training

Mi Casa Bank Teller Training

While we have seen a marked increase in high school and college graduation rates among Hispanic youth, both important determinants of future employment, millennial Latinos continue to be underemployed—which affects their perception of future economic stability and prosperity. According to recent surveys, while young Latinos agree that the economy has improved, many are concerned about the weak labor market and career mobility opportunities.

Those fears are based on real numbers: Latinos between 17–20 years of age who have a high school diploma have an underemployment rate of 41.9%, while those between 21–24 years of age with a bachelor’s degree have a 16.3% underemployment rate. Many of these individuals are either employed in part-time jobs, unemployed, or have given up looking for work. Individuals who lack post-secondary education end up in low-skill, low-wage jobs that pay at or near minimum-wage levels. Many individuals work two or three jobs to support their families and have little opportunity to enter into jobs that promise upward mobility.

Mi Casa Bank Teller Training 2Programs like those that NCLR and its Affiliate organizations offer, in partnership with corporations looking for a trained workforce, are critical in helping to bridge the employment gap. One of those programs is a bank teller training developed with the financial support of Wells Fargo, piloted with three NCLR Affiliates: Association House of Chicago; El Barrio, in Cleveland; and Youth Development, Inc. in Albuquerque. The training prepares Latino youth for jobs in the banking and financial sector that lead to financial and career advancement. By providing Latino youth with meaningful vocational training that builds on their existing skills, NCLR and its Affiliates can help Latino youth be more gainfully employed and on a career pathway to economic advancement. NCLR projects that by exposing Latino youth to careers in the financial sector, they and their families are more likely to be financially literate, less prone to use predatory financial products, and engaged in asset building.

The future of America’s workforce is clearly tied to the success of Latino millennials, and today, as we commemorate Labor Day, we highlight the important work being done and the work ahead to ensure that this critical sector of America’s labor force is set on a path to success.

We’re Gearing Up for the 2015 NCLR Health Summit!

By Marcela Vargas, Project Coordinator, NCLR Institute for Hispanic Health

With less than one month to go until the 2015 NCLR Health Summit in sunny San Antonio, we’re putting together the finishing touches and looking forward to a fun and informative event!

Welcoming last year’s NCLR Health Summit attendees

Welcoming last year’s NCLR Health Summit attendees

The 2015 NCLR Health Summit will explore how our everyday surroundings—the places we live, work, and play—impact Latino health, as well as the steps we can take to address challenges and maximize our physical and mental well-being.

In planning the Health Summit, I’m in charge of making sure the details come together for a successful event. Here are the top three things I’m personally looking forward to at the 2015 NCLR Health Summit.

  1. Learning more about the built environment and how we can work within it to better the health of the Latino community
    Discussing health impact assessments at the 2014 NCLR Health Summit

    Discussing health impact assessments at the 2014 NCLR Health Summit

    We often hear about how important the environment is in impacting our health and how where we live can affect life expectancy. I’m excited to learn about the innovative ways Latino-serving community organizations have advocated for healthier communities. Not only will we learn what others have done, but we will also gain skills in digital and grassroots advocacy through hands-on trainings. In addition, I look forward to discussing the future of Latino health as it pertains to the Affordable Care Act.

  2. Hearing about the work our Affiliates are doing through our Poster Board Networking Reception


    Poster board on cancer care at the 2014 NCLR Health Summit

    At NCLR, we always say the relationships with our community-based Affiliate organizations are at the heart of our work and are key to our success. We are proud to have an Affiliate Network with organizations that do important and innovative work to increase opportunities within the Latino community. In this spirit, Affiliates are invited to share their work and learn from their colleagues at other organizations during the Health Summit Poster Board and Networking Reception.

  3. Connecting with our wonderful NCLR Affiliates

    The NCLR Health Summit provides ample opportunities for the community-based organizations in the NCLR Affiliate Network to get to know and connect with colleagues they see infrequently. The Health Summit is also a great way for NCLR Health Staff to connect with the Affiliates we don’t see nearly enough.Come Join Us at the 2015 NCLR Health Summit!

    Are you interested in joining us in San Antonio? Registration is still open; discounts are available for NCLR Affiliates and students. The last day to reserve your housing is Friday, September 4. I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio!

    Attendees at the 2014 NCLR Health Summit

    Attendees at the 2014 NCLR Health Summit

This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending August 28


Week Ended August 28

This week in immigration reform: Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) visits NCLR Affiliate to discuss immigration; NCLR President and CEO laments “Trumpification” of Republican Party; Citizens for Tax Justice corrects inaccuracies in Trump immigration, tax plans; and Gallup poll finds ties between immigrant status, discrimination. 

NCLR kept the community informed with staff quoted in Buzzfeed.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) talks immigration with Friendly House: During his visit to Phoenix, Arizona this week, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) spoke with leaders from Friendly House, an NCLR Affiliate focused on the betterment of immigrants in the Phoenix area. “Immigration is a bedrock service of the organization and the reason for Friendly House’s start 95 years ago. As the state’s oldest immigration service provider we appreciate the opportunity to share the valuable role we play in integrating new citizens into America and Arizona’s communities,” said Leticia de la Vara, COO of Friendly House. Talks focused on immigration’s impact on direct service providers, as well as the challenges the immigrant community faces in acclimating to a new country. Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) and State Representative Reginald Bolding were also in attendance.

NCLR President calls past week’s immigration talk “turning point” in election: In a post on NCLR’s blog, NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía wrote about Donald Trump’s effect on the presidential race, saying his immigration plan, “put[s] his bigotry and hateful rhetoric into policy.” Unfortunately, the effect of Trump’s rhetoric extends beyond politics, as evidenced by the beating of a homeless Latino man in Boston whose attackers were motivated by Trump’s policy stance on undocumented immigrants. “Much of the responsibility for this attack lies at the feet of not only Trump, but of a Republican Party whose leadership has so far refused to publicly and unequivocally denounce Trump and his extreme rhetoric,” says Murguía. “When the election rolls around next November, there is no question in my mind that we will look back at this week as a turning point in the election. It will be known as the week when Trump’s dominance of both the campaign and the direction of the Republican Party on the immigration issue turned a dark and dangerous turn. It will be remembered as the week that Republicans not only started to lose the Latino vote, but also the election.”

Trump’s immigration, tax flaws highlighted by Citizens for Tax Justice: Donald Trump’s framework for immigration reform is full of misleading statements and inaccuracies, writes the Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ). The article states, “Trump claims that ‘illegal immigrants’ received $4.2 billion in ‘free’ tax credits in 2011 and proposes to pay for part of his immigration proposal by accepting the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)’s ‘recommendation’ to eliminate tax credit payments to these individuals,” but upon digging into the TIGTA report tells a different story. First, CTJ notes, the word “free” is misleading because the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimated that unauthorized immigrants paid $11.8 billion in state and local taxes in 2012. The $4.2 billion figure is also called into question, as is the “recommendation” by TIGTA to eliminate tax credit payments to “illegal immigrants.”

Poll finds immigration status tied to discrimination among Hispanics: Gallup released a new poll this week finding that about 25 percent of all U.S. Hispanics say they have been on the receiving end of discrimination because of their ethnicity at least once in the past month. These instances occurred in a variety of settings, including their place of work, in dealings with police, while getting healthcare, at an entertainment venue, or while shopping. Additionally, the poll finds that for Hispanics born outside the U.S., those feelings of discrimination jump by as little as 50 percent and as much as 500 percent. For treatment in the workplace, for example, 5 percent of Hispanics born in the U.S. said they had faced discrimination in the past month compared to 18 percent of Hispanics born outside the U.S. One factor for this difference that Gallup cites is language: “The poll included interviews with Hispanics in both English and Spanish, with those born outside the U.S. much more likely to be interviewed in Spanish than native-born Hispanics. In turn, the analysis shows that reports of discrimination are much higher among foreign-born Hispanics who are interviewed in Spanish than those interviewed in English. This indicates that language, in addition to ethnicity, may be a key factor in Hispanics’ reports of discrimination and in any actual discrimination that occurs.” This data is taken from Gallup’s June 15-July 10 Minority Rights and Relations poll, which included a sample of 508 Hispanic adults.

From Theatre to Advocacy: Raising Funds for Causes That Matter

By Stephanie Hagen, Prospect Researcher, NCLR


Stephanie Hagen at NCLR Headquarters in Washington

Being a fundraiser was something that never really crossed my mind. I always imagined myself being an editor at a publishing house or something similar, but halfway through graduate school I fell into a wonderful internship at New York Theatre Workshop. After four months with the marketing and development teams there, fundraising was something I knew I wanted to explore more. After finishing my graduate program, I worked in the development offices of theatre companies for a combined five years in New York and DC, mostly writing government, corporate, and foundation proposals and reports and stewarding donors when the occasion called for it.

The arts are an integral part of our society. Studies have proven that children who are exposed to the arts do better in school than their counterparts. Theatres have catalyzed the revitalization of entire neighborhoods. I very much enjoyed fundraising for the arts and I truly believe it is a worthy cause. After a while, though, I started questioning what I wanted to get out of my career: Why am I a fundraiser? When all is said and done, what difference will I have made?

That’s what led me to NCLR, where I research donors and help with our database. I’m really proud and excited to do what I do each day—not only because I have fantastic coworkers who are deeply committed to the cause, but because I feel I am making a tangible difference in people’s lives by connecting our front-line fundraisers with philanthropists who support our mission and have the financial capability to help NCLR continue its incredible work.

Though my path here was relatively unconventional and completely unplanned, I’m very grateful to be working at NCLR.