'Latines in the Workforce' presented the importance of diversity in educational advancement

Katya and Eduardo Dominquez give a 'Latines in the Workforce' presentation on Sept. 30 in the Engineering and Technology Building.

Central Michigan University students and community members attended the “Latines in the Workforce” event on September 30.

The event was hosted as part of Hispanic Heritage Month by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE).

SHPE was founded last year by President Katya Dominguez, Clarkston senior, and Vice President Yassmine Dueñas, Holland senior. 

The speakers of the event were Katya and her brother, Clarkston junior Eduardo Dominguez, the organization's Student Government Association representative.

The sibling focused their discussion on education, specifically the lack of diversity among educators.

The presentation showed that every one-in-four students is of Latine heritage. However, only 8% of teachers are Latine.

Katya said lack of diversity in education reinforces the fact that Latines do not get adequate support or opportunities in the educational world.

“College is seen as a financial risk," Katya said. “Everything we do is for our families. Many individuals in higher education feel as if they must choose between their families or their professors."

The choices regarding higher education are grim because many individuals struggle with the decision to drop out of school to support their families or continue school to financially provide for them in the future, Katya said.

“We don’t just want to see our members graduate," Katya said. “We want them to graduate and hit the ground running and to continue doing great things." 

Eduardo said between 1990-2014, the amount of Latines in the workforce has more than doubled from 10.7 million to 25.4 million. Since 2000, Latines have made up approximately two-thirds of the increase in the workforce. Even with this growth, Latines still face disadvantages.. 

“This doesn’t just affect Latines,” Eduardo said, “This affects you.” 

Although Latines are expected to make up 29% of the U.S. population by 2060, Eduardo said in order to see the Latine groups in America grow, there needs to be changes. 

Bay City Sophmore Gabby Hugo, event attendee, said that these events hold strong importance to the campus community. 

“It’s important for people to learn about Hispanic struggles from people our own age who share experiences similar to us," Hugo said. 

The event challenged students to “Ally-Up” by continuing to educate themselves and others about Latine issues as well as advocating for change that supports their community. 

Katya said SHPE is open to all people of all majors to join, regardless of their ethnic background, and they are always looking for new members. For more information on SHPE, individuals can email President Katya Dominguez at domin1k@cmich.edu