February 14, 2007

Want A Government Job In Adams County, CO? Better Speak Spanish

A private sector job? No:
"I was like oh my gosh, check this out," she told us. "Right there in the middle of the paragraph saying, you must read, write and speak fluently in the Spanish language."

She was frustrated because the position was with her own taxpayer-supported government.

"I kind of felt like an outsider, like I wasn't in America anymore," she said.
Welcome to the new America, where speaking plain old English just doesn't cut it anymore.

The justification?
Adams County director of human resources Jane Vielehr told us the county, which is 30 percent Hispanic, has every reason for the language requirement.

"It’s for our customers or clients who's first language is Spanish and who may have trouble speaking English," she said.

The county has no plans to change, and Desirea has no plans to study up.

So for now, it's a language barrier that will stay up.
Here's a clue for the HR director of Adams County--the "customer" or "clients" of any local government are the taxpayers, and in this case at least 70% of them are not Spanish-speaking. Even assuming that the 30% Hispanic population only spoke Spanish, the overwhelming majority still speak English (or some other language).

Though the requirement only applies to a handful of jobs, it undoubtedly reflects a growing trend among jobs in general and government positions in particular. In an effort to "accomodate" the burgeoning Hispanic population, Spanish language signs, forms, and call options are becoming de rigeur.

It is no longer shocking that a local government job would now require a foreign language in order for a candidate to be considered for employment.

That should be no surprise considering how "unsafe, unfriendly, unsuccessful & mean" the English language can be to non-speakers.


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