Latinos currently represent 14.8 percent of the workforce. In 2050, 1 out of every 3 workers will be Latino. Yet there are many barriers to good jobs for Latinos (NCLR). The nation lacks bilingual/bicultural providers in both behavioral and physical health. A survey noted that non-White and/or Hispanic-practicing physicians in Washington State equaled 1 in 5; 1 in 10 nurse practitioners; and 1 in 7 physician assistants.
CURRENT STATE PER PARTICIPANTS:
- Need for qualified bilingual/bicultural staff
- Recruitment and retention of diverse students in the School of Public Health and all health sciences schools
- Need for more Latino faculty, students, and researchers in health care and biomedical research
BARRIERS TO WORKFORCE DIVERSITY:
- Barriers begin at K–12 level
- Mentality of going to work after 8th grade: family pressure to work and earn money
- Parents don’t necessarily understand how educational system works
- GRE scores can present a barrier to acceptance
- Cost of education
- How are we training students in cultural competency?
- How does the educational system support Latinos?
- “Promotores” certification is lacking in many states
- Awareness — many Latinos are not aware of opportunities such as educational opportunities
- Mentoring is key for students and often missing
- What is happening at the admission level? Why are Latinos not being accepted?
RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES AND PARTNERSHIPS:
- Need for practicums for master and doctoral students with underserved community health organizations
- NIH funding to get minorities into research
- National science foundation for youth programs
- Study why Latinos are not accepted into health profession programs
- Are Latinos getting through the admission process or are test scores weighted more heavily?
- Understanding what are success rates for programs that perform outreach to Latinos
- Coordinated school program — start education and messaging early about how to be successful
For more information read Washington State Health Services Brief No. 58