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STATEMENT OF COOPERATION

Alburquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce

Alburquerque Technical-Vocational Institute

City of Alburquerque

County of Bernalillo

Hispano Cultural Center

Hispano Culture Foundation

Hispano Round Table

Sandía National Laboratories

US Department of Energy

University of New Mexico

 

I. BACKGROUND

The signatories of this Statement of Cooperation recognize that there are both challenges and opportunities facing Hispanos. Our Hispanic drop out rate is significant, our youth education programs in science and technology are lacking, employment opportunities must be identified and communicated, Hispano business opportunities must be recognized and nurtured, and Hispano culture must be lived and celebrated.

The US Department of Energy's Hispanic Outreach Initiative report, "Partnering for the Future," offers insightful data on Hispanics. For example, the report states, Hispanics are the fastest-growing minority population in the United States. Estimates are that Hispanos comprise more than 10% of the US population. Projections for the year 2020 indicate Hispanics will comprise more than 16% of the US population, making Hispanics the largest minority group in the country.

According to the report, the US Census Bureau indicates that between 1982 and 1987 the number of Hispanic-owned businesses increased more than 70%. There are currently about 422,000 Hispanic-owned businesses, but projections are there will be more than 720,000 by the turn of the century. Encouraging as these figures may seem, they indicate that Hispanic-owned businesses will continue to grow at a pace well behind those owned by non-Hispanos.

Hispano employment and compensation are not keeping up, either, the report indicates. Hispanics comprise over 10% of the national civilian work force, but less than six percent of the permanent federal workforce. Hispanic unemployment is high (9.9%) and a majority of those Hispanics with jobs find themselves in semi-skilled and lower paying jobs.The Census Bureau reports that Hispanic men and women earn substantially less per week than their European-American counterparts. For Hispanic teenagers, the unemployment rate is more than 24%.

The Hispano community comprises almost 11% of the total US student population, but has one of the lowest levels of educational achievement of major US minority groups. Current high school dropout rates are 12% for European-Americans, 16% for African-Americans, and 33% for Hispanos. And while dropout rates have stabilized for these other populations, Hispanic dropout rates are still increasing.

This nationally bleak picture is mirrored and even intensified in New Mexico. In 1996, New Mexico became only the second "majority minority" state in the nation (along with Hawaii, whose minority population is 68%), according to official data from the US Population Reference Bureau. New Mexico now has a minority population of about 54%. Hispanos account for 42% of the state's population; Native Americans comprise 8.5%; and Asians, African Americans and others make up about 4%.

The Alburquerque Journal (4/10/97) reported that Alburquerque public high schools with the highest percentages of Hispano students also had the highest drop out rates.

II. APPROACH

This Statement of Cooperation supports and implements the goals and objectives of the Hispanic Outreach Initiative, "Partnering for the Future."

The signatories of this Statement of Cooperation share a recognition of these problems among Hispanics, and are especially aware of these issues in New Mexico, where there is a major Hispanic population. Further, they recognize the value of working interdependently toward identifying and implementing change that will address these issues.

Given the depth and complexity of the challenges facing Hispanics in 1) education, 2) employment, 3) business, and 4) cultural celebration, the signatories to this Statementof Cooperation commit to communicate and work interdependently to help resolve these problems and face these issues. This interdependent approach uses cooperation and collaboration as the basis for effective action in the community.

Signatories will widely communicate the elements of this Statement of Cooperation at state, national conferences and meetings.

III. OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPLEMENTATION

The signatories to this Statement of Cooperation have identified the following opportunities for cooperation and collaboration within the Alburquerque area. All will work interdependently in these areas to the extent permitted by budgets and business priorities.

Education

In education, cooperating member institutions will work together to identify Hispanic students to participate in mentoring programs, in after-school work study programs, and in summer employment and enrichment programs at each cooperating institution. Additionally, identify and monitor an inventory of educational support programs and their interdependencies to assure that there is a supported pipeline of Hispanic students at all levels.

For example the cooperating member institutions will work to identify Hispano students for placement in internship summer programs and other education outreach activities.

An example of an existing program that would benefit from collaborative efforts by cooperating member institutions is an innovative hands-on science and math education program called MANOS. This program offers education programs to mostly Hispanic and Native American middle school students at feeder schools to Río Grande High School and West Mesa High School. MANOS offers five workshops-in math, physics, electronics, computers and flavor of science-at either Río Grande or West Mesa high schools.

UNM and TVI will work with the other signatories to identify and meet the educational and training needs of the Hispanics seeking employment with the cooperating member institutions.

All signatories will work to identify opportunities to provide technical support to TVI and UNM for curriculum development, instruction, and alignment with future technology employment needs.

Cooperating member institutions will support TVI and UNM with loaned equipment and staff to collaboratively improve the effectiveness and relevance of technical education.

Employment

In employment, the cooperating member institutions will work together to identify Hispano candidates for referral to employment opportunities at cooperating member institutions. Cooperating members will collaborate in creating a pool of Hispano applicants that can fill present and future positions at cooperating institutions and in the community at-large.

For example, cooperating member institutions will collaborate to help identify and recruit Hispano job applicants by building and maintaining a database of qualified candidates. Cooperating member institutions can provide copies of annual staffing plans to other cooperating members. Cooperating members will meet regularly to advertise employment opportunities at each institution and to seek methods for continuous improvement in the process of hiring Hispano candidates in an effort align employment demographics with the Hispano population of New Mexico.

Business

In business, the cooperating member institutions will cooperate and collaborate to identify and promote Hispanic individuals and businesses, within the cooperating member institutions and in the community at-large.

For example, cooperating member institutions may:

· support the AHCC Business Development Committee to make presentations on requests for quotation process to AHCC members.

· collaborate with the AHCC to register members in supplier databases (PRO-NET, SWISS).

· work with the Small Business Development Committee of the AHCC to help Chamber members market their products/services.

· participate in the AHCC Mercados to meet AHCC's members and distribute information on procurement opportunities at cooperating member institutions.

· ensure that all AHCC members are invited to participate in trade fair conferences.

Cooperating member institutions may provide to other Hispanic and minority businesses: 1) technical assistance to participating institutions for business and economic development to ensure Hispano participation; 2) decision-making processes for business planning and networking; and 3) contracting and procurement opportunitiesfor Hispanic and minority suppliers with cooperating member institutions.

Cultural Celebration

In the area of cultural awareness, the cooperating member institutions will work together to increase appreciation for and awareness of the diverse cultures in New Mexico, especially Hispano culture.

Cooperating member institutions may:

· expand their Hispanic cultural celebrations to include more community-based cultural activities, and to include broader segments of the Hispanic community.

· collaborate with the Hispano Culture Foundation to provide resources for the construction and operation of the Hispano Cultural Center.

· actively support the Cuarto Centenario Celebration planned for 1998/1999.

· collaborate to institutionalize shared Hispano cultural values in the workplace and other aspects of daily life.

IV. Quarterly Planning and Annual Review

The cooperating member institutions agree to meet quarterly to review substantive progress and plan tacticalcollaborations. Additionally, they will annually review, and enhance this Statement of Cooperation to increase its impact and effectiveness.

 

 

Public Service Company of New Mexico
Los Alamos National Laboratories

New Mexico Mesa, Inc.
Barelas Community Development Corporation


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Last Updated 3-15, 1999, by Juan Fidel [Larranag@eece.unm.edu] Larrañaga
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