CHCI’s new Board Chair, Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez, begins his thirteenth year in Congress with a focus on providing opportunities for young Latinos to achieve the American Dream. Following in his father’s footsteps as a devoted public servant, he leads CHCI forward at a critical time in our nation’s history. 2010 census data confirms that Latinos accounted for more than half of the U.S. population growth this past decade. Eager to lead our community to greater success and prosperity, Gonzalez shares his vision for the Latino community, CHCI, and more in an exclusive interview for CHCI.org.
What is your vision for the Latino Community?
My vision for our community is a highly-educated workforce that contributes to all sectors of the 21st century economy.
For years the Hispanic population has been growing faster than any other demographic in America. It’s no secret; this trend has been closely monitored and discussed for more than three decades. By 2020, the Latino population is estimated to reach 65 million or 20 percent of the U.S. population. Half of all new workers entering the labor market will be Hispanic five years later.
Latino issues are mainstream issues. Our responsibility for America’s future success is paramount. We need to ensure that our community is prepared to work, to lead, to prosper so that America remains competitive in the global economy.
The demand is exploding. This year alone the number of students interested in participating in CHCI programs jumped from 9,000 to more than 23,000! As the dramatic population growth of the Latino community in the United States continues, it is imperative that we significantly increase the number of Latinos ready to assume leadership positions in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Both corporate America and government have a significant stake in the outcome, and CHCI is uniquely positioned to deliver.
Over the next five years, the "Keeping the Promise" initiative will lay the foundation for a bold future for CHCI, the Hispanic community and the nation. Our 2011 goal is $8 million – a 33% increase over 2010.
We invite you to be part of this ambitious effort to shape America's future.