July 29, 2018

TOO WHITE MOUNTAINS:

New Hampshire, 94 Percent White, Asks: How Do You Diversify a Whole State? (Katharine Q. Seelye, July 27, 2018, NY Times)

New Hampshire, like its neighbors Vermont and Maine, is nearly all white. This has posed an array of problems for new arrivals, who often find themselves isolated and alone, without the comfort and support of a built-in community.

It has also posed problems for employers in these states, who find that their homogeneity can be a barrier to recruiting and retaining workers of different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds.

The issue prompted about 100 business leaders, government officials and members of nonprofit organizations to meet Thursday to search for ways that New Hampshire -- which is 94 percent white -- might lure other racial and ethnic groups, as well as younger people.

Will Arvelo, New Hampshire's director of economic development, said the gathering appeared to be the first broad-based effort in New England, if not the country, to focus on how to diversify an entire state.

With nonwhites poised to make up a majority of the American population in the next three decades, he said, diversity has become a bottom-line imperative for companies competing for talent, especially for workers who can speak other languages. As it stands, New Hampshire is 3 percent Latino, 2 percent African-American and 3 percent Asian, according to the census, with some people identifying as more than one race. The nation as a whole is 17 percent Latino, 14 percent African-American and 6 percent Asian.

"New Hampshire's future economy is dependent on our ability to set ourselves up as a welcoming state," Mr. Arvelo said at the meeting. "We do a great job marketing ourselves around travel and tourism. How do we use those tools to attract talent?"

With unemployment below 2% in Grafton County you can't fill all the jobs we have open. We'll take every immigrant we can get.

Posted by at July 29, 2018 9:43 AM

  

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