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Hispanics vs Caucasians in the Construction Workforce sample essay

There is a strong demand for a diverse, abundant as well as talented engineering work force. A continuous supply of engineers highly qualified in science and mathematics is required to ensure growth in national productivity. Though employment in general is expected to increase within the engineering sector, engineering degrees are expected to remain nearly stable up to the year 2010. it is estimated that the number of the 18-24 year old will grow by approximately three million by the end of the year 2010 and within this period, American Indians, African American and Hispanics will make up to almost 60% of the total population (Goodrum 2004).

These demographic changes showing a clear greater demand within the workforce calls for the need to increase the number of minority and female students who enter and complete engineering courses. A look at the college bound students who are planning to major in engineering courses is a good indicator oh how these groups will be prepared to handle the construction tasks in the future (Lacy 2005).

The global market is a competitive edge and lack of preparedness all the way from college will translate directly to poor work in the future while a well psychologically prepared student will surely be better placed to handle the challenges in the future. This paper argues out that the Hispanic work ethic is stronger than the Caucasian and thus most of the times there is friction on the jobsite because of lack of communication. Minorities in the construction workforce

It has been noted that the percentage of the potential engineering students from the various minority groups have been increasing for the last twelve years mainly because there is a decrease in the number of Caucasians who did plan to major in engineering. This could thus suggest that there is a potential misalignment between aspirations and the actual preparation among the minority students. Most of these did not complete their core coursework requirement and thus ended up taking only basic mathematics and course sequences (Goodrum 2004).

Unfortunately also, minority potential engineering students also had lower overall grade in high school. There is need for more prepared engineers and from the demographics there is need for more future engineers to be females and the minority. Unfortunately most of the minority engineers are poorly trained to meet the challenges of the engineering sector (Passel 2004). The current engineering workforce is predominantly controlled by the Caucasians and the males. From the demographics, Caucasians will continue to make a decreasing population percentage.

On the other hand, American Indians, African Americans and the Hispanics will continue to account for the increasing population (Lacy 2005). A common consensus among the leaders in the engineering community is that the required positive increase in the engineering labor force will only come from a workforce that is well prepared academically and one that is in possession of mathematical and science skills and knowledge that can adapt in a world of advancing technology and competition(Passel 2004).

Towards this end engineering colleges have heeded the call and it has been noted that thee is an increase in the number of Hispanics who are in undergraduate engineering programs. As compared to the Caucasians, most of the Hispanics have indicated that they are very sure of their choice of engineering major thus putting them a step ahead of the Hispanics in the preparation of the engineering career. This has however been contradicted by research which has shown that approximately 74% Caucasians were more likely to join a preparatory program as compared to 60. 9% of the Hispanics who would join the same programs (Goodrum 2004)..

It has also been noted that the percentage of Caucasian students who take accelerated mathematics does increase over time (Woodward 2005). Hispanic workforce Hispanic workforce is continuously growing with previous growth of between 1980 to 2000 being estimated at 156%. Their employment in the construction trade has also been found to be increasing while there is little evidence of the same for others. However despite their qualifications, they have been underrepresented in some of the skilled as well as semi-skilled trades such as plumbers, brickmasons, steel and iron workers as well as in highway maintenance workers.

The employment as well as preparation of the Hispanics in the skilled trades will be crucial if the workforce is going to obtain it’s share of higher paying jobs within the construction industry. Thus the construction workforce can benefit if;

1. The supervisors within the construction industry do provide tools that will enhance more effective and direct communication with the fast growing Hispanic labor force. 2. The needs as well as interest of the American supervisors are assessed and this may include the degree of the extent to which the supervisors know the Hispanic culture. . The American supervisors are provided forth with an opportunity to participate in the integration of Hispanic and American cultures within the work environment. 4. Practical and valuable training courses are going to be provided to the supervisors so as to help them link their needs with those of the construction industry thus creating a more interactive and safer work place. It has been observed that Hispanic adults have more tendency of taking part in adult basic skills programs as compared to their representation within the states population.

Those who do take part in community and technical college (CTC) training have more tendency than non-Hispanic whites to working soon after leaving their programs (Lacy 2005). Appreciating the value of education, it has been observed that the more education a Hispanic has, the more likely it is that they are in the labor force and working (Ramos 2002). Conclusion There is a serious question and concern in regard to the US construction workforce since though the Caucasian are the majority in this field, latest demographics show that their largest concentration is in the 60-79 age range.

People tend to feel defined by their employment situation and career choice and since studies have shown that Hispanics are usually very well prepared to join the construction workforce, there is need for measures to be put in place to exploit the benefits of this diversity to the maximum (Reinberg2008). There is a decrease in the number of students majoring in engineering upon entering college and as students become less certain of their subject of choice, there is need for graduates who are well prepared.

Since it is estimated that the Hispanics, American Indians and the African American will make up to 60% of the population in the next decade, the potential employers should have their interest particularly in training in these groups if the construction workforce is not to face a serious shortage of qualified engineers. A combination of policies, services and appropriate programs will help to shape a better prepared, informed, aligned and collaborative response to the engineering workforce challenges.

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