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HR Magazine, April 2004 - Tapping the Hispanic Labor Pool

By Robert Rodriguez  4/1/2004
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HR Magazine, April 2004Vol. 49, No. 4

The Value of Partnership

When Caterpillar Inc., the worlds leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, wanted to enhance its recruitment of Hispanic talent and image within the Hispanic community, it developed a partnership with the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE), a nonprofit affinity organization based in Chicago.

First, Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar looked to HACE to help strengthen the relationship it had with one of its strategic partner schools, Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. HACE immediately doubled the firms exposure on campus by acting as an ambassador for Caterpillar to the various Hispanic and engineering organizations on campus, as well as to faculty and staff. HACE also helped Caterpillar identify top Hispanic leaders on campus and provided workshops to help in their development.

HACE has been a great help in our partnership with Texas A&M, says Jared Knode, program coordinator at Caterpillar. HACEs solid reputation within the Hispanic student community at the university helped to elevate our brand on campus because of the partnership.

HACE also coordinated private dinners with Caterpillar executives and members of HACEs network who were community and business leaders in the Hispanic community. These dinners helped forge relationships and bridges of understanding between the two groups.

HACE has also helped to raise Caterpillars understanding of the Hispanic community by inviting executives to workshops aimed at educating participants on how to build Latino diversity at Caterpillar and how to access the Latino market.

Richard Lavin, vice president of Caterpillar, says HACE helped the organization better understand the Hispanic community and has helped speed up the companys learning curve. HACE is very helpful in painting a picture of opportunity for minority employees at Caterpillar, and the partnership with HACE has definitely paid off.

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