Classes From Ocean County Library Help Spanish Speaking Residents Find Work
The difficult job market is affecting every part of the community, and a series of classes to help job seekers by the Ocean County is even being taught in Spanish.
The classes teach participants how to look for jobs online, create an attractive and effective resume, as well as use Microsoft Word. The series of classes were sponsored through the state's Library's Broadband Technology Opportunity Project (BTOP) and were funded by a 5.1 million dollar federal American Recovery and Reinvestment act grant as well as a 1.65 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
However Friday the 27th's class in Lakewood will be on Basic Word and Email for Job speakers will be taught in Spanish, something not often seen especially when referring to programs aimed at teaching computer skills for employment.
Ann Bagchi, secretary for the Latino Coalition of Monmouth County says there is a growing awareness that the Latino community is here and growing.
"Increasingly I think people do tend to have stereotypes. Latinos are an extremely diverse population and a large percentage of the population are native born citizens and that's increasingly the case with the younger generation. "
She adds that one of the advantages of attitudes changing about the Latino community is that it makes way for acceptance of people into a community, which she says is beneficial for everyone.
"It pays for communities to accept changing demographics and find a way to integrate all people into the community because it serves the long term community interest. "
Bagchi notes that while often many immigrants from the Latino community were relegated to manual labor positions, many of them have more to offer into the workforce.
"Some people may have come here doing manual labor but they've developed the types of skills and experience where they could obtain other types of jobs. "
She adds that many immigrants have never had to create resumes since like many workers who held jobs in a similar field within their community.
"Some of these people will probably need some time to develop resumes. A lot of people have probably never had one ever so it's going to take time. "
One of the other challenges immigrants from the Latino Communities also faces is racism and discrimination. Bagchi says that these programs will continue to help the immigrants integrate into different levels of society and assimilate into the American Culture much like immigrants from other countries have in the past.
"They're used to be signs, and I'm sure many people have heard this, there used to be signs that said "No Irish or Dogs" so this type of discrimination happens when people come to a country, especially in large numbers. "
She says offering services to help them compete in today's job market will only serve to help everyone.
"They're here to work, that what people come to this country for. They come to this community for work and they're very motivated so the fact that these programs are coming up is very important.