YLN hosts Hispanic Market Career Networking
By Arooj Ashraf, La Prensa Correspondent
Cleveland: The Young Latino Network in partnership with New York Life Insurance Company held a Hispanic Market Career Networking event on April 26, 2012 at 87 West Wine Bar in Crocker Park.
The social was an opportunity to connect employers interested in recruiting bilingual talent with likely candidates like YLN’s members. President José C. Feliciano Jr. said the group is continuing to strengthen partnerships with employers to help empower their membership in finding jobs and leadership opportunities that will help retain the young talent in Cleveland.
Nelida López, Partner, Recruiter & Financial Services Professional at New York Life Insurance Company, is the only Latina serving in this capacity and said the Latino community needs to be better represented. “We need to serve our community,” she said.
López said the level of success is dependent on commitment and there are no glass ceilings or barriers to agents making lucrative salaries. As a recruiter, she looks for self starters, who manage their time efficiently, have good communication skills, and can work independently as well as in groups. She added, adding diversity and bilingual agents enhances the experience of clients as well. College education is not mandatory but López said a track record of hard work is a plus.
Luis Cartagena introducing Nelida Lopez
Eradin Berrios, Robert Torres, Ray Rosa
leadership: Luis Cartagena, Blanca Figueroa, Jose C. Feliciano Jr., Jessica Gonzalez and Luis Cabrera
Rafaél López Jr. has been an agent for a year, “I cannot see myself doing anything else in life,” he said. López Jr. added, the challenge of the job is being comfortable in awkward situations, “You have to have a personality.” For him, being his own boss was part of the learning curve and he stressed the results reflect the hard work agents invest. “Keep an open mind,” he said.
YLN is leveraging new opportunities for members to exhibit their leadership in civic engagement and unify their voice. The group provided assistance in filing tax return, helping nearly 300 people at no cost.
Luis Cartagena, YLN treasurer, said with elections around the corner the group will play a crucial role in helping canvas neighborhoods, registering potential voters, and helping with voter education projects that many other organizations are launching. “While we are the fastest growing minority we are the least represented in local governments,” he said.
Most recently, YLN participated in the “Tú Decides” a faith based rally held at the Saigon Plaza on April 1, 2012 that encouraged Latinos to vote. First of its magnitude the rally brought together faith-based groups, National Latino Evangelical Coalition, government representatives and more than 500 people in attendance were encouraged to work beyond the rhetoric and vote by guest speaker Rev. Gabriel Salguero, pastor of the Lambs Club Church in New York City and president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition.
Blanca Figueroa, YLN secretary, said the next step is to train pastors on voter education and rights so they can lead their congregations to the polls.
Membership to YLN is $25 annually and more information can be found at www.younglatinonetwork.org.