Tuesday, January 3

Perhaps they're not really qualified?

John Crum, director of policy and evaluation for the Merit Systems Protection Board, indicates it's not only prejudice.
"The government can only hire citizens, and many Hispanics in this country are not citizens."

On top of that, recruiting Hispanics is not easy, especially when many federal jobs are clustered in big cities on the East Coast and in the Midwest. "A lower percentage of our jobs happen to be in the Southwest," Crum said.

Federal recruiters restrained by budgets are less likely to build an applicant pool in the Southwest. "It's difficult to say if someone in Detroit should be recruiting someone in Arizona," Crum said, but "the issue is of concern to us." Hispanic hires have grown by a single percentage point since his agency's report 10 years ago.

Another obstacle, he said, is that "the government primarily employs professional- or administrative-type people, while a large percentage of Hispanic people work in other types of jobs."

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