Cornejo plans database of bilinguals
CINCINNATI, Jan. 15, 2012 (AP): The head of a southwest Latino organization is working to create a database of college students who speak Spanish and English to help southwest Ohio businesses fill their need for bilingual employees.
A business needing more Spanish-speaking employees would be able to search the database to find local bilingual students who could perform those jobs, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported (http://cin.ci/yIfz8i).
Alfonso Cornejo, president of the Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati USA, is working with Cincinnati State Technical and Community College to develop the database. It will include about 300 Hispanic Cincinnati State students and their majors, and Cornejo hopes that the database will be expanded eventually to include students from other universities in the area.
A goal also is to connect students and businesses through internships or co-ops while the students are in the early part of their college careers.
Cornejo is not happy that Spanish-speaking, bilingual students in the region are being recruited by businesses in other states and that Chiquita Brands International recently moved its headquarters from Cincinnati to Charlotte partly because of the North Carolina city's high bilingual rate.
``We think that we have some of the best schools in the entire region and nation,'' Cornejo said. ``And people come from other states to steal our people, and I think that's just not acceptable.''
Cornejo says he wants companies in the region to have ``the first shot in connecting our students, evaluating them and offering employment or internships so they try them out.''
The former Procter & Gamble Co. executive has led the 285-member chamber for seven years. Cornejo, 64, has supported many other projects, including expanding the region's Minority Business Accelerator program to include Hispanic businesses and mentoring young Latino business leaders. He also helped bring the League of United Latin American Citizens convention to Cincinnati last summer.
Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com