FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4, 2006
HACU encourages federal agencies to strengthen their efforts to recruit more Hispanics into the Federal Government
SAN ANTONIO, TX – Hispanics continue to be the most under-represented ethnic group in the Federal Government and that federal agencies must do more to recruit Hispanics, according to a recently published report by the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA). Click here to read the report. NHLA is a nonpartisan coalition of the leading national Hispanic public policy and civil rights organizations, including the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU).
“All NHLA members are concerned about this issue and we agree that the federal government needs to take far more aggressive action to recruit tomorrow’s workforce into its ranks,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “One in three people currently entering the workforce are Hispanic and by the year 2020 that number will change to one in two. Federal agencies need to market their missions and careers to the Hispanic community, have active partnerships with Hispanic organizations, reach out to the Hispanic community and to the pool of potential employees at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) with their recruitment messages.”
HACU encourages federal agencies to strengthen their recruitment of Hispanics into the federal government by utilizing the HACU National Internship Program (HNIP) to increase Hispanic representation in the federal workforce. Since its inception in 1992, HNIP has provided paid internships to over 6,000 college students during spring, summer and fall sessions at federal agencies and private corporations in Washington, D.C., and throughout the country. These ten and fifteen-week internships allow college students to experience the diversity of careers that exist in the federal sectors. During 2005, HNIP placed 600 student participants (with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.37) in twenty-two federal agencies and nine private corporations.
The HACU National Internship Program and the newly developed HACU Cooperative Education Program have been identified as “Best Practice” tools by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the White House for the recruitment of Hispanics into the federal government. New federal regulations also make it easier to convert HACU interns and Coop students into permanent federal employees, since both programs allow students to accrue the needed on-the-job hours to make them eligible for noncompetitive placement in federal positions.
Federal agencies are seeing their return on investment. For example, the Unites States Department of Agriculture (USDA) completed an internal analysis on the impact of the program on its workforce and found that 21% of former HACU interns were now USDA employees and that an additional 36% were working at another federal agency or non-profit organization.
The HACU National Internship Program can also boast a proven track record of changing the perception of the federal government as a prospective career choice for students. Studies show that less than 25% of college students think about the federal government as a place of employment; however, after their HNIP internship 80% of the students would consider working for the federal government.
“This issue is too important to be ignored,” stated Flores. “The Hispanic population is the nation’s youngest and fastest-growing population. The United States government must have a workforce that reflects this changing demographic. We need to make a real difference now. HACU is committed to building a truly diverse workplace with our federal partners. In fact, this is a key issue at the HACU National Conference coming in October. I look forward to continuing our work with federal agencies partners and hope to welcome new ones.”