With more than 63.7 million Latinos in the United States, they represent the largest racial or ethnic minority at 19.1% of the total population. Additionally, Latinos make up about 20% of the nation’s workforce, and they are the youngest cohort in the country with a median age of around 30.
A forecast from the U.S. Department of Labor predicts that 2030, 78% of the net new workers in the country will be Latino. However, the challenge lies in the fact that over half of Latinos (57%) have low to no digital skills, while more than 92% of job postings now require some level of digital skills development.
The Aspen Institute Latinos and Society program has taken action to address this issue through the Latino Digital Inclusion Initiative. Its aim is to ensure that Latinos have access to proper digital skills training opportunities in order to fully participate in the digital economy.
The organization has released the Aspen Principles for Latino Digital Success, which provide guidelines for digital equity efforts targeting the Latino community. The four principles outlined include:
1. Digital access: Policies and initiatives should aim to improve internet access and digital device availability in the Latino community.
2. Digital skills: Digital skills programming should align with the specific needs and expectations of the diverse Latino community.
3. Digital empowerment: Employers and organizations should provide the necessary tools and resources for career growth in the digital economy.
4. Sustainability: There should be sufficient investments in digital equity efforts, with a focus on securing funding from philanthropy and exploring innovative ways of funding programs.
The urgency of addressing the digital skills gap is crucial not only for the Latino workforce but for the entire U.S. economy. Failure to equip Latino workers with the necessary skills will negatively impact the country’s competitiveness as a whole.
It is essential for decision makers in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors to prioritize digital skills training for Latino workers and ensure long-term sustainability of digital equity efforts.
– Working Nation
– Aspen Institute Latinos and Society program