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Oct. 24, 2014

HACU President meets with leaders in D.C. to discuss underrepresentation of Hispanics in the federal workforce

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) President and CEO Antonio R. Flores recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with key government officials to discuss ways to diversify the federal workforce and the importance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) in these efforts, as well as in preparing the emerging generations to succeed in the competitive global economy of the 21st Century and beyond.

In a fact sheet published by HACU, 2012 figures show that 370 HSIs enrolled 1,579,152 Hispanics. HSIs enrolled 18.2% of all students and 57.1% of all Hispanic students.

“HACU’s membership, which includes HSIs and emerging HSIs, offer a talent pool for the government to draw upon to address the underrepresentation in the federal workplace. These institutions are also the backbone of the new American labor force, where in the present decade Hispanics will contribute 74% of all the new workers joining the nation's workforce,” says Flores. 

Through the HACU National Internship Program, college students have the opportunity to gain experience in public service through internships. During 2014 internship participants included 390 students placed in federal internships and 37 in corporate. Of the total college students serving in HACU internships, nearly eight of every 10 self-identified as Hispanic.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management OPM recently released its first report on millennials in the Federal workforce. The report indicates that 336,609 Federal workers who are 33 or younger represent 16 percent of the Federal workforce. According to their findings, when compared to the total Federal workforce, more millennials are Hispanic - 10 percent compared with 8.2 percent in the total workforce.

On Oct. 21, Flores attended a meeting at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Headquarters where he had the opportunity to meet with Ambassador Al Lenhardt, Deputy Administrator at the USAID, recently confirmed in Sept. 2014, and Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator Beth Hogan, among others.

With other representatives of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, Flores attended a meeting at the U.S. Department of the Interior with Mike Reynolds, associate director for workforce, relevancy and inclusion at the National Park Service, and DOI representatives Francisco Carrillo and Joan Padilla, to discuss Hispanic employment.

On Oct. 22, Flores attended a Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council meeting led by Secretary Jeh Johnson. Flores, who chairs the Subcommittee on Student and Recent Graduate Recruitment, provided a progress report on the subcommittee's charge, which focuses on ways to attract student interns, student veterans, and recent graduates to jobs at DHS to ensure that students and recent graduates take advantage of DHS internship and job opportunities.

At the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Flores met with Secretary Robert A. McDonald. The meeting focused on strengthening collaboration with the Association to increase Hispanic workforce VA recruitment in health and STEM fields and collaboration with HACU-member institutions.