Latinos represent 18% of the total population and comprise 16% of the total population working full-time and 15% of those working part-time. They have higher labor force participation rates when compared to other groups 16 and older (66% Latino, 64% Asian, 63% White, 62% African-Americans). However, strong employment and labor participation rates are not indicators of social mobility. Latinos are significantly overrepresented in lower-paying occupations (approximately 50% of construction workers, agricultural workers or cleaners), versus the highest-paying occupations (only 22% of Latinos are employed in management or professional occupations). Latinos in the labor force also have lower levels of high school diploma attainment (75% versus 90% of white students) and Bachelor’s degree attainment (20% versus 40% of white students).
It is with this in mind that the College Promise Campaign is announcing a focus on increasing Latino student success. In partnership with Excelencia in Education, the College Promise Campaign hosted a leadership roundtable with corporate, higher education, and nonprofit leaders to discuss the opportunities for improving the Latino student pipeline into meaningful careers. While Latino students have made significant strides in college access and degree attainment at the state and national level over the past five years, considerable gaps remain in access, completion and labor force participation. The College Promise Campaign and Excelencia in Education recognize the importance of addressing these gaps and what it means for improving the social and economic outcomes of our nation’s Latino communities.