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Latino Daily News

Monday May 9, 2011

Education Advocates Ask Government for Plan to Keep Hispanics in School While Working

Education Advocates Ask Government for Plan to Keep Hispanics in School While Working

Photo: Hispanics often battle staying in school when they need to work

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Thursday, education leaders and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis were asked to create new education policies that would help Hispanic students balance school and work in order to lower the rate of those prematurely ending their studies.

“We have before us a great obstacle: that of convincing the United States that the future of the Hispanic youth is the country’s future,” said Charlie Gonzalez, head of the Hispanic Caucus in Congress.

Educational organizations, including university and education program leaders, from all across the country met and debated with lawmakers and government education officials on the how to get more Hispanics to earn university and college degrees.

Gonzalez, a Democratic lawyer from Texas, told the group that it is imperative “to identify the careers that are relevant for our country” then pique the interest of students hopefully leading them to those careers.

He noted that currently, only 3.4 percent of engineering and science jobs are held by Hispanics, and said it is “vital” to encourage Hispanics to aspire to these positions, adding, “We must challenge the traditional notions and keep in mind how learning and communication are today in the real world.”

At the meeting, Jeanine LaPrad, president of the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce pointed out, “We need to emphasize that the important thing for many Latinos is to be able to learn without having to leave their job. That’s going to be one of the keys to success of Hispanics in the future, and we’re not seeing sufficient examples.”