Denver business leaders say start recruiting more Latinos early

Latinos make up 17 percent of all occupational workers, but they make up just 8 percent of STEM workers in science, technology, engineering and math, according to the Pew Research Center.

Push News: That disparity was the theme of an all-Latino panel at Denver Startup Week Thursday, with a focus this year on underrepresented groups.

  • Panelists included agree that one way for the industry to improve recruitment and recruitment is to ensure young people are aware of opportunities while they are still in primary school.
  • Tim Stevens-Armijo, head of Amazon Web Services, said big tech companies aren’t doing a good enough job of letting young people know there are job opportunities at their companies.

What are they talking about: “We need to set an example that you shouldn’t be afraid and that there is room for all of us,” said Juan Torres, associate director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, stressing that mentoring is another way companies can Help guide Latinos into STEM careers.

Susie Lira-Gonzalez, co-founder of Denver-based INDX, which she calls “Pinterest for learning,” says tech companies interested in recruiting Latino talent should invest in businesses founded by them, including startups company.

  • “And not as a charity case, but [as in] Look at this market cap opportunity that we can unlock,” Lira-Gonzalez said.

Between the lines: Stevens-Armijo said big tech companies should try to set up offices in predominantly Latino communities to offer resources like free computer coding classes and even free devices that can help kids get started with tools that help them become tech-savvy .

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