WOEMA Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize the invaluable contributions of the Latinx community to various aspects of American society. The 2023 US Latino GDP report is a testament to the incredible contributions of the Latinx community to our nation's economic prosperity. (https://latinogdp.us) This year's report showcases not only the substantial growth in Latinx-owned businesses but also their pivotal role in job creation and innovation across various industries. It highlights how diversity is a driving force in our economy, with the Latinx segment of the US population leading the way in entrepreneurship and workforce participation.

According to this year’s report the Latinx community in the United States continues to drive the economy forward — as they've been doing since the 1500s. In 2021, according to the 2023 U.S. Latino GDP Report, despite a second year of COVID-19 pandemic conditions, the U.S. Latinx total economic output, or GDP, broke the $3 trillion threshold.

As we reflect on these findings, let us recognize the importance of fostering an inclusive and equitable environment, ensuring that every member of our diverse society has the opportunity to contribute to and benefit from our nation's economic success.

Mahatma Gandhi's poignant statement, "the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members," resonates profoundly when considering the situation of Latinx workers in the USA. These workers, often marginalized due to various factors including immigration status and language barriers, represent a vulnerable segment of American society.

Latino workers have made substantial contributions to the nation's economy, particularly in industries such as agriculture, construction, and healthcare. However, they frequently face precarious working conditions, inadequate access to healthcare, and limited legal protections. This vulnerability is further exacerbated by the disproportionate impact of workplace injuries and fatalities on Latino workers.

WOEMA’s recent advocacy on behalf of the Latinx manufactured stone workers in Southern California is but one of many examples where industry has failed to protect a vulnerable population. Industry has known about the hazards associated with manufacturing fractured stone grinding, cutting, and polishing, yet has not acted to prevent deaths in this vulnerable population. WOEMA’s Legislative Committee is actively working to prevent exposure to silica dust in the manufactured stone industry.

However, to live up to the ideals of a just and compassionate society, it is imperative that the our country ensures the fair treatment, safety, and well-being of its Latinx workforce. Policies that address these disparities, including comprehensive immigration reform, language-accessible workplace safety programs, and healthcare access, are essential steps toward honoring Gandhi's wisdom and fostering a society where all its members, regardless of background, are treated with dignity and fairness.

Join WOEMA in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.