Page 49 - Latino Boom II

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P o r t r a i t o f L a t i n o U . S . A .
6 1
October 2010, according to a Pew Hispanic Center analysis of recently
released data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census.
“Much of this growth in college enrollment among young Hispan-
ics has been at community colleges,” writes Richard Fry, author of the
2011 Pew Hispanic report. “Of all young Hispanics who were attending
college last October, some 46 percent were at a two-year college and 54
percent were at a four-year college. By contrast, among young white col-
lege students, 73 percent were enrolled in a four-year college, as were 78
percent of young Asian college students and 63 percent of young black
college students.”
That is good news and I believe that efforts by large foundations and
other corporations behind education achievement, such as the one the
Gates Foundation does with Univision called
Es El Momento
or NBC/
Telemundo’s Education Nation/El Poder del Saber, do great work to
elevate the conversation among Latinos about the importance of edu-
cation and overcome perceived obstacles to getting a college educa-
tion. According to Nielsen, the number of Hispanic college graduates
is expected to double between 2000 and 2016 (Figure 3.25). Let’s hope
so. Our future as a nation literally depends on it, as you will see in the
next section.
Critics and bigots argue that the constant flow of poorly educated, non-
English-speaking immigrants undermines the U.S. economy when, in
fact, it does just the opposite. The reality is that the influx of low-skilled
workers in the United States not only keeps gardens and houses clean,
these immigrants (regardless of whether they are Hispanic, Asian, or
Eastern European) do the jobs nobody else wants to do—but everybody
needs. When it comes to workforce participation, the truth is that Lati-
nos will play an important role when it comes to replacing the tsunami
of retiring Baby Boomers over the next two decades. According to “The
Latino Labor Force at a Glance” report released by the Department
of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in April 2012, 23 million