Keeping a full workforce can often be a challenge and usually requires a pork producer’s constant attention. When labor challenges arise it is often crucial that a job be filled quickly. Staff needs have a way of occurring at the worst time and leaving crucial areas understaffed.

When hiring is done quickly, mistakes can easily be made with the result being the wrong individual in a position. Considering long term solutions is a good tactic to help prevent hiring errors.

Increasing the number of Hispanic workers in your operation is a viable strategy as part of a long term solution in maintaining and growing your workforce. 

 “There are three main reasons to look at increasing Hispanic representation in your workforce,” says Orlando Gil, Training Connections and Translation Services, Dickens, Iowa. The first reason according to Gil: “Hispanics are here and are readily available,” he says. “Hispanics are currently the largest minority in the United States. The Hispanic population currently makes up some 15 percent of the U.S. population.”

“In terms of population, we have the second largest Latin American country in the world right here in the United States,” says Gil. By 2020, population projections place the U.S. Hispanic population at nearly 60 million.

The second reason is that the U.S. is aging. The average age of farmers is increasing. “By 2050, there will be twice as many people over age 60 than there are children,” says Gil. When considering the workforce of the future, Gil asks, “who will be willing to do the work? We will need these Hispanic folks to do the job.”

The third reason is demographics. Currently, the Hispanic population is gaining faster than any other U.S. population segment. In addition, Hispanic families are younger and larger. “The median age of the U.S. Hispanic population is about 10 years younger than the median age of the U.S. population. “By incorporating Hispanics into your workforce, you are aligning your operation with favorable trends for labor demographics in agriculture,” says Gil.

Your effort in integrating Hispanics into your workforce will have rewards. “If you learn a few key words and phrases, it would go a long way to overcoming initial communication problems,” says Gil. “With a little work, you can make it much easier.”

“Right now, pork producers may have a larger labor pool to select from and have more options when it comes to hiring,” says Gil. “However, with current demographic trends, the Hispanic workforce provides excellent long-term potential to meet the growing needs of pork producers for capable and dependable workers.”

For more information, contact Orlando Gil at translat@mtcnet.net