The Monona East Side Business Alliance (MESBA) hosted representatives of the Latino Professionals Association (LPA) Sept. 15 who presented on the growing Latino demographic in Dane County.
LPA Marketing Chair Leslie Orrantia and Tania Ibarra, LPA founding member and active volunteer, spoke on changes in the Latino population over the past few decades and their projected continued growth in Dane County’s immediate and long-term future. As a result of this unprecedented increase, there are numerous opportunities and benefits for local businesses to tap into the Latino community as a market demographic for area sales and services, as well as for diversifying the business labor force.
The two LPA representatives shared an overview of the association’s history and how it’s grown out of demand from an increasing Latino professional population in Dane County. Since its start in fall of 2013, the LPA has thrived in its efforts to promote diversity across the greater Madison area, while fulfilling its mission to recognize and enhance Latino professionals through community engagement and professional development. The LPA has invested in sharing the importance of diversity and inclusion through membership opportunities extended to non-Latinos and information sessions on the Latino population, such as in their recent MESBA presentation. They have also done this through collaborations with local organizations, such as Step Up for Equity, a partnership involving Sustain Dane and Dane County Buy Local which offers workshops on equity in the workplace to area businesses.
Sharing nationwide trends in demographic growth, Ibarra and Orrantia explained that Wisconsin’s growth of the Latino population is on the same upward trajectory.
“Engaging the Latino community from an employee, supplier, and customer perspective is not only the right thing to do, but a necessary business strategy to capture the growing Latino market,” Ibarra said.
Latinos are the largest minority in the state of Wisconsin and Dane County’s Latino population doubled between the years of 2000 and 2010. As this growth continues, the LPA encourages members of our community to join its ranks in supporting a thriving membership of Latino professionals, area businesses to engage the growing Latino population, and the greater Madison area to embrace equity and diversity in the workplace and across our community.