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Global Cleveland partners with agencies to highlight Latino recruitment and increase internships

By Arooj Ashraf, La Prensa Correspondent

Global Cleveland stressed the importance of hiring Latinos through a panel discussion held at Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affair on Dec. 7, 2012. The panelists offered their views on hiring practices and recruitment strategies attract the best talent among a population that is quickly becoming the largest minority in the United States. 

Manuel González, Chief Executive Officer of National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NHMBA) said recruitment is often like matchmaking on e-harmony. It’s not enough to check requirements but also to find out the compatibility. “You don’t change the corporate culture alone,” he said emphasizing job seekers should match their values with the company they hope to work with.

Tom Tomasula, Jr., HR Business partner at Lubrizol Advanced Materials said the greatest misconception of the Latino workforce is: “They will go wherever there is a job.” He said this way of thinking makes corporations lazy in recruitment efforts. “Just being present at career fair is not enough, you find this group to be highly skilled and they ask tough questions.” Tomasula said their internship program scrutinizes each description and tasks interns will complete because the power of word of mouth is greater than any marketing strategy.

González said the proportion of employers who understand the importance of the Latino inclusion is nearly 33 percent; these companies go above and beyond in creating a culture in their company to attract the best and retain them while consistently improving. “Then another 33 percent who don’t get it and don’t care to get it, it’s a compliance issue for them,” said González, adding they will face a bleak future in 20 years.

For Cleveland companies, the Latino population offers a resolution to the diminishing population. Ten percent of the current population is described as Latino in Cleveland, and more planning to relocate. Victor Ruiz, Executive Directors of Esperanza, Inc., said the corporations need to work closely with the internship programs to retain the home grown talent and nurture them to the jobs of the future.

Ruiz said the issue many Latino students face is they change majors often and do not graduate with the adequate internships or understanding of what they want to do professionally.

The El Futuro de Cleveland Internship program, created in collaboration with Global Cleveland, Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education, Esperanza Inc, and Cleveland Leadership Center is designed to match Latino students with paid college summer internship in Cleveland metropolitan area and branding the city as a place that welcomes Latino talent.

Ruiz said the issue many Latino students face is they change majors often and do not graduate with the adequate internships or understanding of what they want to do professionally.  Creating a pipeline of mentorship early is crucial for keeping children on track.

However, he said there also needs to be a movement to help the undocumented students living in the shadows of Cleveland school system who are just waiting for any opportunity. “They have been sold this dream of college, and now come to find out they are undocumented. This is a conversation we are having more and more,” he said.

José Feliciano Sr., Chairman of the Hispanic Roundtable, said that collective responsibility falls on the greater community to advocate for comprehensive reform. He encouraged González to consider leveraging the connections of NSHMBA National to highlight the importance of reform and the impact it will have on job growth.

Tomasula said companies need to realize that the sponsorship process is a sound investment in the future of their company because that recruit will enhance that company’s culture for years to come. “The opportunity cost far exceeds the investment.”

For more information on the El Futuro de Cleveland Internship program please visit: www.noche.org/elfuturodecleveland


Copyright © 1989 to 2012 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 12/18/12 20:09:29 -0800.




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