Ways to Attract and Retain Latino Employees and Customers to be Topic of Washington Post / Newsweek Interactive Discussion on April 19

March 29, 2006

Minneapolis, March 29, 2006 — U.S. Census data show that Latinos are the fastest-growing ethnic group, representing the largest minority in the country. Today, there are approximately 42 million Latinos in the United States, which represents approximately 1 in every 8 residents—by 2008, 1 in every 5 will be Latino. The buying power of Latinos in the United States today stands at more than $800 billion. This will rise to more than $1 trillion by 2008.

Dr. Robert Rodriguez, Chairman of the Board for the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement, will answer questions regarding how businesses can best respond to this demographic shift and the growing economic power of Latinos during a one-hour live Web discussion on the Washington Post Web site on Wednesday, April 19, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. EST. Part of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive's “Viewpoint” discussion series, visitors can participate by simply logging on to http://discuss.washingtonpost.com/.

Dr. Rodriguez has extensively studied what works and what doesn't work in successfully attracting both Latino employees and customers. He serves as the Faculty Chair for Capella University's School of Business and Technology. Capella is a leading online university that has been a pioneer in online education.

During the interactive session, Dr. Rodriguez will answer questions such as:

  • Why is it important that organizations take notice of the growing Latino community with regards to workforce development?
  • Latinos have lagged behind other minority demographic groups with regards to advanced education—why?
  • Latinos have a purchasing power of almost a trillion dollars, what should employers do to tap into this market?
  • Why don't traditional recruiting methods effectively reach the Latino talent pool?

“With the tremendous growth of the Latino demographic in the Unites States, companies are realizing that Latinos have a lot of purchasing power. So companies want to tap into this market, but they are recognizing that in order to do that they need more Latinos working within their organizations that understand the Latino culture,” Dr. Rodriguez explains. “Latinos tend to be brand conscious and brand loyal, so organizations with a strong employment brand will benefit. Employment branding does not refer to an organization’s products or services, but instead to an organization's reputation as an employer. Those organizations that can effectively recruit, develop and retain Latino talent will be the ones that have a competitive advantage in the marketplace.”

Dr. Rodriguez can be reached at Capella University at Robert.Rodriguez@Capella.edu.

About Dr. Robert Rodriguez
Dr. Robert Rodriguez has been with Capella University's School of Business and Technology since February 2003. His responsibilities as a faculty chair include overall management for general business specializations at both the MS and PhD level. He is a frequent article contributor to such publications at HR Magazine and Chief Learning Officer Magazine, and is a regular presenter at various human resource conferences. Dr. Rodriguez was selected as the recipient of Capella's 2005 Harold Abel Faculty of the Year Award. He has also held human resource leadership roles at several Fortune 500 firms, including 3M, BP Amoco and RR Donnelley & Sons. Along with teaching at Capella, Dr. Rodriguez is the managing partner at Astira Group, a human capital services firm based in Chicago, and is actively involved in several nonprofit organizations, including his position as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (http://www.hace-usa.org). Dr. Rodriguez and his family currently reside in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

About Capella University
Founded in 1993, Capella University is an accredited* online university that offers graduate degree programs in business, information technology, education, human services and psychology, as well as a bachelor of science online degree program with 11 specializations in business and information technology. The online university currently serves more than 14,500 enrolled learners from all 50 states and 63 countries. Capella is a national leader in online education, committed to providing high-caliber academic excellence and pursuing balanced business growth. Capella University is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Capella Education Company, headquartered in Minneapolis. For more information, please visit http://www.capella.edu or call 1-888-CAPELLA (227-3552)

*Capella University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, located at 30 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504, (312) 263-0456, www.ncahigherlearningcommission.org

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