Excelencia’s Policy Agenda: Workforce Preparation

Excelencia’s Policy Agenda: Workforce Preparation

Excelencia in Education
November 2020


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Excelencia in Education’s mission is to accelerate Latino student success in higher education—which would increase the number of Latinos entering the workforce with a degree. Despite the pandemic, Latinos’ labor force participation over the next decade is expected to increase, while participation is expected to decrease for non-Hispanic Whites. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has made more public what we’ve known—Latinos are heavily represented in both essential jobs and those that were vulnerable and lost when lockdowns began. Latinos’ unemployment rates increased from 4.8% before the pandemic to a peak of 18.5% in April 2020. As the country faces a changing workforce and a recession, we must ensure Latinos are prepared to enter and succeed as competitive candidates.


  How can federal and state policy support Latinos’ workforce preparation?

Hispanic-Serving Institutions enroll the overwhelming majority of Latino students, yet are low-resourced and face further budget cuts in the midst of an economic recession. The following recommendations would improve these institutions’ capacity to serve Latino students:

  • Leverage existing federal programs, such as Federal Work-Study, to support experiential learning opportunities for students.
  • Make workforce development an allowable activity for Title V grants to support institutions in creating workforce programs.
  • Update federal data to better capture Latino students’ pathways and how federal funding impacts Latino student success.
  • Incentivize engagement between employers and the institutions serving Latino students.



Related Publications

How can institutions support workforce preparation?

Read Tapping Latino Talent

Where are Latinos in the workforce?

Read our factsheets in Latinos in Higher Education: Compilation of Fast Facts

What are the workforce preparation experiences of students at Hispanic-Serving Institutions?

Read Examining Life Outcomes Among Graduates of Hispanic-Serving Institutions

What are the top institutions graduating Latino students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and Health?

Read Finding Your Workforce: Latinos in STEM and Finding Your Workforce: Latinos in Health