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Community Engagement Benefits Businesses, Job Seekers

August 20, 2013

Juan Baron

Juan Baron  

Juan Baron

The strength of a community is based on a solid foundation of support and awareness of local needs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 15.2 percent of U.S.-based Hispanics participated in volunteer activities in 2012, a statistic that has steadily increased since 2008.

Whether devoting time to a local group, sitting on the board of a civic organization or spending time interacting with a community, public service can help strengthen the greater community and open up the potential for networking and leadership opportunities.

Businesses can show corporate responsibility and stewardship with a commitment to improving the community through support of local nonprofits or organizations. Job seekers who give back have the opportunity to make valuable connections and learn new skills during philanthropic activities.

Involvement for businesses

The Hispanic community tends to be relationship-focused, basing decisions on established connections and referrals. Companies with an interest in the Hispanic market can earn trust and strengthen connections through participation in local groups and events.

By playing active roles in the community, businesses can develop platforms that address the needs of the community and create visibility among company leaders and stakeholders while building trust within the community.

Engagement for job seekers

Job seekers can embrace their Hispanic heritage and leverage community support to understand the unique qualities and ideas prospective employers are seeking in strong candidates. Getting involved in a nonprofit board or taking on high-level responsibilities within an organization can also help fill an employment gap.

Volunteering helps job seekers develop personal connections enabling ideas and work ethic to shine. Displaying passion for a cause or organization can help connect candidates to their culture and provide valuable networking opportunities.

The big picture

Whether we are helping guide the Hispanic community toward a secure financial future, volunteering with a local organization or partnering to support community services, the resiliency of future generations lies in our ability to work together to support the ideals of our community. Integrated efforts help hold people accountable and keep them vested in the outcome of projects and organizational objectives.

Most communities offer a variety of organizations that could benefit from the support of local volunteers, including faith-based groups, schools, youth groups, and social and community services. There is sure to be an opportunity that supports any organization's or individual's passion.

Juan Baron is a wealth management adviser and the managing director for Northwestern Mutual in West Los Angeles. Baron serves on the board of managers for the Westside Family YMCA and the board of directors for the Inland Empire Latino Lawyers Association Inc., a nonprofit provider of free legal services for the poor and underprivileged residents of the Inland Empire. Baron also is a certified financial planner, a chartered life underwriter and a chartered financial consultant.

Source: HispanicBusiness.com (c) 2013. All rights reserved.

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