Empowering Latinx Workers in Tech: A visit to the Center for Changing Lives

This year, during the 2023 UnidosUS Annual Conference in Chicago, we had the privilege of visiting our UnidosUS Affiliate, the Center for Changing Lives (CCL), where they showcased their Latinx in Tech program—a powerful initiative designed to bridge the digital divide for Latino workers.

In today’s rapidly evolving job market, staying competitive requires more than just traditional skills. As technology continues to reshape industries, it’s crucial for individuals to acquire digital skills that align with the jobs of the future. The Latinx in Tech program, a part of the CCL’s broader mission, is a game-changer for Latino jobseekers. This innovative program offers participants the chance to earn industry-recognized Google Career Certificates in IT Support, Project Management, UX Design, or Data Analytics.  

It’s projected that in this decade 78% of net new workers will be Latino. By 2030, at least two-thirds of jobs will require some level of digital skills, making it crucial for Hispanic workers to have access to these opportunities. Furthermore, tech workers earn anywhere from 20% to 80% more than the average state salary. With more Latinos able to access these economic opportunities, they will be better positioned to embark on the path towards building generational wealth within their communities.

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Founded in 1989, the Center for Changing Lives works tirelessly to provide a range of high-quality services to Chicagoans who are currently experiencing homelessness, housing instability or financial hardship. 

During our visit to the Center for Changing Lives, they shed light on the Latinx in Tech’s transformative impact, and how the program equips participants with the education, skills and knowledge necessary to take the next step in their careers.  CCL includes the program as part of their suite of employment coaching and digital literacy services. This initiative provides a tangible path to success in the ever-evolving tech industry and equips participants with the proficiency and know-how to thrive. As technology continues to shape our world, initiatives like these are essential in ensuring that no one is left behind. 

‘A golden opportunity’ 

Tenoch Rodriguez, an Employment Coach at CCL, says, “[the program] gives them that education piece they need, the skills they need to succeed in that type of environment and get that internship or job…it’s almost like a golden opportunity given to them to enter in an entry-level way and then move their way up.” Tenoch highlights how programs like Latinx in Tech serve as a springboard for career advancement and contribute to the dismantling of barriers, ultimately paving the way for a prosperous future for all.  

We invite you to watch Tenoch talk about the program in the video below:

The primary goal of UnidosUS’s Latinx in Tech program is to create meaningful opportunities for Latinx individuals to acquire new, high-demand skills and secure competitive positions that pay family-sustaining wages.  In an era where technology is at the heart of almost every industry, this initiative provides a pathway to success for program participants. The Latinx in Tech program also aims to bridge the diversity gap in the tech sector by fostering inclusivity and representation, making the industry more reflective of the broader community it serves.

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