News Column

Corner Office

March 20, 2012

Jesus Chavarria--Editor and Publisher

The automotive markets remain leaders of the recovery, which is an excellent sign. But one has to look hard to find other industries buying into America's future with the same degree of confidence.

A leading story in this issue starts: "The economy continues its long, slow crawl toward recovery ... . The story is "Holding Fast," our March cover feature presenting the Supplier Diversity Top 25, a list of corporations with notable diversity supplier programs. The report tracks 2011 data reflecting a meaningful increase between 2010 and 2011 in the total diversity purchasing spend with diversity suppliers by major companies. We have asked Carlos Orta, chief executive officer of HACR (Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility), to comment on diversity supplier markets, and readers will find his comments pertinent to the continuing debate on equal-opportunity access to corporate programs targeting small and medium-size companies.

Of particular importance are ongoing plans to change rules and program practices governing diversity supplier development, both in the private and public sectors. Consolidating the supply base is one of them. Such matters need public discussion and airing in the Hispanic markets. Business organizations must create public environments where critical discussions can take place.

One area showing promise for growth is the clean-energy sector. Despite the sluggish economic recovery, clean-energy projects continue to come online -- from solar power to electric cars, from wind turbines to more efficient gas turbines. All these projects mean money can be made. Steven Chu, energy secretary, told Congress that "trillions of dollars will be invested in clean energy in the coming decades." With that much up for grabs, there will be many chances for savvy Hispanic entrepreneurs to start up new companies or grow existing enterprises.

Also up for grabs this year is the growing Hispanic vote. At least, the Republican National Committee (RNC) believes so. We talk with Bettina Inclan, director of the RNC's Hispanic Outreach, to find out more about the aggressive efforts the RNC is making to court Hispanic voters.

POSTSCRIPT: In case you missed it, take a look at The New Yorker's Jan. 9, 2012, article with the irresistible title, "War of Choice, Marco Rubio and the G.O.P. play a dangerous game on immigration." Ken Auletta gives us a fascinating libretto of a multidimensional fight between U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Univision, the U.S.'s dominant Spanish-language television medium. At the center of the fracas is the junior U.S. senator from Florida, Rubio, who is consistently referred to by the national press as the man with the political Midas touch. "He's a riser," is the take resonating nationally. On the Univision side of the contentious drama is well-known Miami personality Isaac Lee, installed as head of news at Univision a little over a year ago.

Enjoy the script, which, by the way, is not about immigration but about much more.

Source: (c) 2012. All rights reserved.

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