Orlando Gil

Orlando Gil (bio),CEO Training Connections and Translation Services, has a mission to help businesses bridge the gap with the agricultural Latino Workforce as they seek to meet their needs for professional and skilled labor.
Email: translat@mtcnet.net

Latinos... "Acres of Diamonds" for Agriculture?

Latinos and diamonds The old story “Acres of Diamonds” told by Russell Conwell in the early 20th century, may ring true today when one considers the growth of the Latino population and our present and future needs for talent in Agriculture.

According to the story, an old farmer heard about rare diamonds that would give him wealth without limit. He sold his farm and went away and spent many years in search of these diamonds, never to find them. Finally, he gave up, threw himself into the sea and drowned… poor and destitute.

Back home, years later, the man that purchased the old farmer’s land found some “black stones” in a river stream one day… Long story short, the “black stones” ended up being “diamonds in the rough” and later, the old farm became one of the biggest diamond mines in the history of humankind. Right under his own feet, in his own land, the old farmer had acres and acres of diamonds. And so the story goes…

What does this have to do with Latinos and the present and future needs for talent in Agriculture? Do Latinos represent “acres of diamonds” when it comes to future leadership in Agriculture?

If I get the moral of the story right, right here, right now we have an emerging demographic that can represent the leaders of tomorrow.With over 50 million Latinos in the U.S and the numbers projected to be over 30% of the total population by 2050, Latinos represent “acres of diamonds” to Agriculture.

With the age of the average farmer increasing, and individuals starting to retire, there is a gap of talent in the future of Agriculture and Latinos could potentially fill that gap.   

Latinos in Agriculture - a Leadership Forum on Capitalizing Hispanic Talent

Coming later this year, TCTS Global in partnership with AgForLife LLC, will be hosting "Latinos in Agriculture; a Leadership Forum on Capitalizing Hispanic Talent". The goal of the event is to provide a workshop to connect industry, government, and education for transforming the agricultural workforce of the future.

When you consider that the Hispanic population is projected to grow to over 30% of the total of the U.S. population by 2050 – U.S. Census Bureau, one might agree that this may offer a window of opportunity for Agriculture. These demographic changes bring with them opportunities to tap into this emerging market to build a future pipeline of students, employees, employers, and ultimately consumers of our agricultural products and services.

The workshop aims to help stakeholders to take deliberate approaches in improving the Latino/Hispanic representation in the Agricultural and Food related Industries. In addition, it will explore ways on how to inform and persuade industry, government, and academia of the huge potential Latinos can represent to Agriculture.

If our Agricultural and Food industries are to be sustainable and maintain its dominance in world markets, Hispanic leadership and involvement must be part of the formula.

Latinos... “Low Hanging Fruit” For Animal Rights Activists?

Hispanic Population Chart 2008

When you look at efforts from just about every industry in the United States trying to tap into the emerging Latino market, one has to wonder when Animal Rights Activists will follow suit.

Companies are investing millions of dollars trying to reach this segment of the population. With some estimates putting Latino purchasing power at more than a trillion dollars, it just makes sense that companies would invest money and resources in this growing demographic.

Arizona, Here We Come...NOT!

ArizonaFriday, April 23, 2010 was a day that will be remembered by many. On this day, Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer, signed into law bill SB 1070 – “Immigration; Law Enforcement; Safe Neighborhoods”.

While the controversial law (which goes into effect sometime this summer) is written to require that lawful contact be made, law enforcement officers might stop any person with reasonable suspicion of being illegal and ask about their immigration status. If the person cannot produce documentation that would validate their legal status, they would be arrested.

The 2010 Census – Helping Your Community by Helping Latinos Be Counted …

Census 2010 The 2010 Census – Helping Your Community by Helping Latinos Be Counted …

I just received a letter from Robert Groves, Director for the U.S. Census Bureau.

Should You Require Your Latino Employees To Speak Only English At Work?

"We are in America, %@$@ it, they should speak English!!!"

This is what a farm manager told me sometime ago as he complained about his newly hired Latino employees speaking Spanish at work and him and other employees not being able to understand what they were saying…

"If they want to speak Spanish, he continued, they can do that at home, not here. When they are at work, they should speak English, English, English!!!"

He told me this in a very demanding tone. I guess he thought that if he were demanding enough the situation would change.

Easier said than done, I thought…

This manager worked for a company that had turned to the available Latino workforce as an option to fill the jobs it couldn’t fill with native U.S. workers. This, of course, brought with it a new set of challenges.

Beware of the Latino that says: "Yes, yes, I understand..."

That Latino employee that nods his head up and down and says: “Yes, yes, I understand…” may not really understand what is being said and that can be a real problem for your operation. 

So what’s the big deal, you might ask? 

Do You Have to Know the Language in Order to Train Your Spanish Speaking Employees?

This is a question that sometimes comes up when discussing the opportunities and challenges of having Spanish-speaking employees in agricultural operations. Often, the perception is that if you don’t know the language, it can be pretty hard to train these individuals to do what you need them to do. Knowing the language helps, but this by itself, won’t guarantee success when training your Spanish-speaking employees.

Sometimes, training is delegated to someone who may be bilingual, but may not have the skills or abilities to train. Other times, we are so busy getting things done, that we run out of time to do the training and when we get to it, we approach it without a well thought-out and organized training plan. Training should be viewed as an investment that will return employees that produce results with consistent quality and will help in your retention efforts.

Is Latino Labor in the Agricultural Industry a Thing of the Past?

Is Latino Labor in the Agricultural Industry a Thing of the Past? This past June I had the opportunity to address pork producers at the World Pork Expo (audio and slides). At that time, the key message of my presentation had to do with the idea that producers no longer had to worry about finding workers to get the job done at their farms.

Perhaps a sign of relief; at least something producers did not have to worry about during these turbulent times… It made sense… When you considered the high unemployment rates prevalent for several months and the number of displaced workers willing to do just about any type of job, most producers had a lot more job applications to choose from and fewer jobs to fill as employees “stayed put” waiting for the recession storm to go by.