In 2013, there were 54 million Hispanics in the U.S., making up 17.1 percent of the country’s total population. The latest projections from the U.S. Census Bureau expect the Hispanic population to reach 28.6 percent by 2060, with the Hispanic population in Contra Costa already being at 25.3% since 2015.
As a whole Hispanics are becoming more educated, with college enrollment among Hispanics ages 18 to 24 more than tripling from 1996 to 2012. However, while nearly nine-in-ten (89%) Latino young adults say that a college education is important for success in life, only about half that number—48%—say that they themselves plan to get a college degree, according to a new national survey of Latinos by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.
With a buying power between $1.5-1.7 trillion annually, and a rapidly growing Hispanic population segment, Hispanic education has clearly become a systemic issue that is central to ensuring America’s current and future economic success. With the shortage of an educated workforce, the nation is dependent on educating the fastest growing ethnic/racial population because changes in the American population demographics require a greater focus on educating and training tomorrow’s workforce.
Having served the Contra Costa community for 30 years, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Contra Costa County has worked relentlessly to address the educational gap which threatens to tear the fabric of our local economy. Through the help of our members and corporate sponsors, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation has traditionally made programs possible, such as the Educational Scholarship Fund and our annual Education Conference.
However, to better address the growing challenges affecting our local economy, the Hispanic Chamber has leapt forward with the founding of a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization as a means of ushering the Hispanic Chamber into a more effective advocacy role on behalf of Contra Costa County businesses and the community. The new entity completes an organizational trifecta for the Chamber, streamlining our business and social welfare activities across Contra Costa’s community, commercial and government sectors to better address the needs of our constituents within the 19 cities of Contra Costa County which we represent.
We invite you to commemorate this moment with us as we forge ahead with a deep dive discussion on education’s impact on Contra Costa business growth.
We invite you to come take part in this working-celebration and the creation of a better tomorrow.