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Maria Elvira Salazar: U.S. Needs More Latinos Studying, Working in STEM

This week, U.S. Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., showcased her support for U.S. Rep.
Tony Cárdenas
, D-TX, resolution “to express support for increasing the number of Latino students and young professionals entering careers in STEM.”

Cárdenas introduced the resolution at the end of last week with Salazar as the main cosponsor. More than a dozen other House members are co-sponsoring the resolution, including U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla.

“Investing in education and workforce development is critical and having more Latinos pursuing STEM degrees will help grow our economy when it is desperately needed,” said Salazar. “Latinos, who are currently underrepresented in STEM fields, can and should help fill our country’s need for more highly skilled and technical workers. I am proud to co-lead this bipartisan resolution recognizing the importance of Latinos in STEM.”

“STEM education changed my life,” said Cárdenas. “I had teachers tell me that I wouldn’t be able to cut it at the University of California Santa Barbara and that I should train to be a mechanic rather than aiming for a degree in engineering. I overcame that negativity and ignorance, and I am proud to have seen other San Fernando Valley trailblazers like Senator Alex Padilla and Assemblywoman Luz Rivas use their STEM educations and knowledge to lead. This is why Congresswoman Salazar and I are fighting to empower more Latinos to pursue STEM careers. Enhancing opportunities for Latinos in STEM roles will strengthen our country and build the next generation of astronauts, inventors, leaders, and more.”

See also  Study Ranks Florida as Best State for Getting a Pay Raise 

The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) is backing the resolution.

“There are over 62 million Latinos in the U.S., accounting for approximately 18 percent of the total U.S. population. Despite these demographic breakdowns, Latinos represent less than 8 percent of the workforce in all STEM fields. A recent report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts Latinos will grow to 22.4 percent of the overall workforce in 2030, and to 30.3 percent in 2060,” Salazar’s office noted. “The amount of well-paying STEM jobs is expected to outpace non-STEM jobs in the coming years, and the share of Latinos in the U.S. is expected to grow. It is critical to ensure STEM fields are accessible and appealing for Latino students and young adults.”

Author

  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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