In SN’s September 2021 issue, SNA Staff Vice President of Marketing and Communications Danielle Duran Baron wrote on the importance of creating a culture of “belonging” in managing diversity, equity and inclusivity initiatives. She looked at this topic through the lens of her own Latino heritage—and the occasion of Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins September 15—including a look at the critical role Latino Americans play in the healthy growth of the U.S. economy.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hispanics will represent 20% of the workforce in just two years, by 2024. Six of 10 Hispanics are Millennials or younger, and their median age is 28 years, six years younger than the median in the country. Latinos are important for developing and attracting the current and future workforce. They currently represent a whopping 26% of all restaurant employees, according to the National Restaurant Association, making them a great potential resource for school nutrition operations.

Make sure your recruitment efforts feature specific strategies for outreach to the Latino community in your area. Carry business cards, written in English and Spanish, detailing the many rewards of working in school nutrition programs, from the family-friendly schedule to benefits packages and opportunities for advancement. Distribute these discreetly when you observe great service at a local restaurant. Also, ask Latino parents of students in your school to share good places where you should post print and digital information about open positions—they may not be looking where you expect.

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