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May 5, 2013

Habla Español? Corporations must cater to the needs of changing demographics

by akm305

A few days ago I went to the Bank of America on Barrack Road in order to get a money order for my visa application. As I stood in line, I watched the young teller interact with her client. She was an older woman, who only spoke Spanish, and was using her little boy (either her son or grandson) to translate for her. Quickly, the conversation became too advanced for the little one to translate; what 5 year-old knows how to translate “withdrawal” or “savings account”? Luckily, there was another woman in line who was fluent in both languages and was able to help the teller, who was struggling to get the transaction completed.

It just struck me as (almost) irresponsible for the bank not to have at least someone on staff who spoke Spanish and could properly take care of this customer. It’s no secret that America’s demographics are changing. It’s not just L.A., Houston, and Miami that have growing hispanic populations. President Obama won his reelection largely based on his campaign’s ability to reach the hispanic voter. Washington is in the process of recognizing the importance of the hispanic community, isn’t it time that America’s corporations do the same?

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