Since the Spanish founded St. Augustine in 1565, decades before the English settled Jamestown, the Latino community has played a leading role in driving the growth and success of America.

The next generation

Fast forward 550 years, and the Latino community is a vibrant, growing force in this country. The Latino population represents 17 percent of the U.S. population, has $1.5 trillion in purchasing power and every month more than 83,000 Latinos turn 18.

Young Latino demographics fuel projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts Hispanics will account for 74 percent of the growth in the nation's labor force by 2020 and represent half of all new entrants in the workforce by 2025.

"Hispanics will account for 74 percent of the growth in the nation's labor force by 2020 and represent half of all new entrants in the workforce by 2025."

In a nation where 1 in 4 children is a Latino and more than 90 percent of Latino children are native-born, success must include prepared Latino leaders. Our effort to develop these leaders directly impacts our nation’s ability to meet the workforce challenges of the 21st century.

For the past 38 years, we have worked to address these challenges by developing the next generation of Latino leaders. By promoting education attainment and college access, providing unmatched career development experience and offering award-winning leadership programs, our mission is unwavering and more critical than ever before in our nation’s history.

Making strides

We are making great strides as a community. High school dropout rates for Latino students dropped by nearly half—24 to 13 percent—between 2003 and 2012, and Latinos are attending college at a higher rate than any other group.

There are more than 3 million Latino-owned businesses in the United States, a number up more than 40 percent since 2007. Hispanics are starting businesses at 3 times the national rate, fueling the economy, empowering Hispanic families and changing Main Street USA.

Whether it’s through opening businesses, leading social and political movements or impacting culture, Latinos are making, and will continue to make, significant contributions to all facets of American life.

We know the future success of America is directly tied to the success of Latinos. From September 15th to October 15th, we applaud the tremendous accomplishments of the Latino community and encourage all Americans to join the more than 54 million of us in commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month.