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Latino Outreach Initiative Brings Together Laborers, Latino Community Leaders

The Midwest Region has recently undertaken a Latino Outreach Initiative to develop relationships between the Laborers and leaders in the Latino community, with the goal of increasing membership numbers in Latino communities. Union membership can greatly benefit Latino workers, and the increasing Latino population in the Midwest offers an excellent opportunity for growth.

The Latino Outreach Initiative, led by organizer Sal Valadez, has already seen success, including the placement of 9 Laborers at a fertilizer plant in Wever, IA, and identifying potential candidates for upcoming work.

In addition, working committees in Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska in the Great Plains Laborers’ District Council, and in the Eastern Missouri Laborers’ District Council are hard at work registering Latinos to vote and identifying the next generation of Latino elected officials. These committees are also holding conferences, such as one in St. Louis in May 2014, to discuss issues important to Latino workers. Speakers included elected officials, such as Missouri State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal, Jackson County Legislator and Laborers’ Local 264 Member and Political Director Teresa Garza Ruiz, various community and issue activists and other leaders from within the Laborers’ Union.

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