Language Diversity and the Workforce: The Growing Need for Bilingual Workers in Colorado’s Economy

The Seal of Biliteracy has been hailed as an important initiative to recognize high school graduates who have attained proficiency in two or more world languages, and provide employers in their states a method of identifying job candidates with multiple language skills, according to a study by New American Economy.

The Seal of Biliteracy creates a tangible incentive for high school students to become proficient in a second language. Numerous studies show learning a second language can enhance a student’s cognitive development, equip them with greater cultural understanding, and help them develop the skills necessary to become active global citizens. The legislation, passed in nineteen states so far, has been supported by a broad bipartisan coalition of elected officials, business organizations and advocates, including NAE . Business leaders in the state expressed their support for the program during the legislative process because it will help students in Colorado prepare to enter an increasingly globalized job market.

Language Diversity and the Workforce: The Growing Need for Bilingual Workers in Colorado’s Economy  finds:

  • Between 2010 and 2014, online job postings in Colorado for bilingual candidates nearly doubled, from 2,892 to 5,092 postings. Demand also increased for the following languages: Chinese (147.7 percent increase), Spanish (87.4 percent increase), and French (66.9 percent increase).
  • In 2014, jobs for bilingual workers represented half or more of online job postings at Bank Midwest (81 percent), Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (62.9 percent), and Carquest (49.7 percent); more than one in four of the postings at Greeley (27.3 percent) and Denver Health (25.2 percent); and more than one in ten at T Mobile (18.9 percent), U.S. Bancorp (16.9 percent), and Mental Health Center of Denver (16.4 percent).
  • Between 2010 and 2014, postings for bilingual candidates increased across Colorado Industries, including: General Medical and Surgical Hospitals (361.7 percent), Executive, Legislative, and Other General Government Support (240 percent), Elementary and Secondary Schools (193.2 percent), Outpatient Care Centers (102.6 percent), Depository Credit Intermediation (90.6 percent), Insurance Carriers (86 percent), Business Support Services (52.7 percent), and Traveler Accommodation (3.4 percent).

Read the full report here.

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