Beyond Hispanic Heritage Month: How to Invest in Employees Year-Round

Hispanic student holding books

Elva (Mariella) Maldonado is a center director at one of our Bright Horizons centers in Miami, Florida, and has been an educator for more than 36 years. She is also co-chair of Bright Horizons’ Hispanic Latino Employee Advisory Group. 

I’ve always had a love for learning and an understanding of the value of higher education. I have instilled those same values in my daughters. Both have earned college degrees and are making a positive impact with human rights and environmental issues. 

Equally as important, I taught them to use their voices.

As director of a Bright Horizons center in Miami, I offer the same support to my teachers, many of whom are of Hispanic or Latino descent. For some of them, learning English is the first step in achieving their personal and professional goals, but they are each capable of much more. I was fortunate that a college degree was within financial reach but for many members of the Hispanic Latino community that isn’t the case. 

Access to employer-sponsored educational assistance has been life-changing for my teachers. They flourish academically and grow personally and professionally as they continue to build their careers. Nothing pleases me more. We live in a diverse community and spreading knowledge and the benefit of education inspires — and elevates — everyone.

I’ve dedicated my career to empowerment through education, especially for Hispanic Latino populations. We have an important role in this country. We need to share what we have to offer in this world.

We need to use our unique voice.

Let’s use Hispanic Heritage Month to create lasting change

By 2025, Hispanics will likely contribute more to US GDP growth than non-Hispanics. Latinos are projected to make up 22.4% of the U.S. labor force by 2030 - and more than 30% by 2060. That means the future success of organizations is directly tied to the education and skill of the Hispanic Latino workforce.

The drive to learn is there: 83% of Latinos believe education is the most important issue for their community, reports The Hispanic Star and 76% of Hispanic employees have said the pandemic has made them want to focus more on developing new skill sets, found the Bright Horizons Education Index.

Recently, Hispanic enrollment at four-year colleges reached an all-time high but barriers to education, including affordability, still remains for many. 

This year, as we honor the histories and contributions of Hispanic and Latino cultures, let’s create a substantive wave of change. 

Help pave the way to learning by offering educational assistance to your workforce. Whether it’s a two-year or four-year degree, vocational or technology training, providing education support signals that you are committed to investing in your team members professionally — and personally. They will reciprocate by investing in your organization in a more meaningful way. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Hispanic student holding books

Subscribe to the On the Horizon Newsletter