This National Hispanic Heritage Month, National Able Network honors the achievements and contributions Hispanics and Latinos have added to the United States. As a workforce agency, we can’t help but look at the ever-lasting impact Hispanics and Latinos have had on elevating rights in the workforce. From protections for farm workers to addressing pay inequities, the calls for advancement from the community are continuously pushed forward through the resounding phrase: “Si Se Puede.”
“Si Se Puede” roughly translates to “Yes it’s possible” and its roots can be traced back to Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez while fighting for the rights of United Farm Workers of America in the early 1970s. It was during this era that the Spanish-speaking population in the United States nearly doubled to 8.7 million people. Although the population was large and growing, many were somewhat stuck in the same job roles and primarily in low wage industries. Since that time, the phrase has become a rallying slogan for Hispanics and Latinos everywhere. It is a phrase drenched in hope, power, and possibilities. It was also during the mid to late 1970s that Hispanics and Latinos began to unite on a larger scale and claim roles as union leaders and board members, which led to the power for change and advancement within the workforce.
Today, estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, state that Hispanics and Latinos account for approximately 18 percent of the workforce population – with expectations to grow up to 21.2 percent by 2030. Although, the population as a whole remains heavily concentrated in service occupations – the first of which were negatively impacted during the pandemic in 2020 – there have been slight increases in overall representation in managerial roles and high-growth industries.
Organizations like National Able Network explicitly set out to work toward an equitable future, providing individuals in marginalized communities with career pathways that lead to not only family sustaining wages but high-growth and advancement. As we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, we remind all job seekers regardless of their current status: Si Se Puede.