News Release

Southeastern signs agreement with national Hispanic group to develop initiatives in region

Contact: Rene Abadie


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USHCC Foundation Chairman Massey Villarreal and President Randy Moffett

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SOUTHEASTERN PARTNERS WITH HISPANIC CHAMBER FOUNDATION -- Southeastern Louisiana University President Randy Moffett, right, signs an agreement linking the university and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation in a partnership designed to foster the development of initiatives to aid the growing Louisiana Hispanic business community. Looking on is USHCC Foundation Chairman Massey Villarreal and, back, left, Southeastern Provost John Crain and USHCC Foundation President Frank Lopez.

     HAMMOND -- Southeastern Louisiana University and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) Foundation have signed an agreement designed to foster the development of programs and initiatives to aid the region’s growing Hispanic business community.

     It is the first such agreement between a Louisiana university and the USHCC and is a recognition of the increasing need for training within the Hispanic business community, said Aristides Baraya, director of Southeastern’s Latin American Business Initiative in the College of Business.

     “This partnership represents a great opportunity for us to expand our relationships with the Hispanic business community and chambers of commerce while enhancing the general economic development of the region,” said Southeastern President Randy Moffett. “The demographics and population shifts of the area following Hurricane Katrina require initiatives such as this for southeast Louisiana to thrive.”

     A key focus of the program is the creation of the Latino Virtual National Business and Training Institute. The institute will develop electronic learning tools and other business-related training resources that will be offered to chambers of commerce and other organizations throughout the nation.

     Other elements in the initiative include:

     ▪ the development of student internship programs centered on business, communication and technology training;

     ▪ the establishment of a satellite video production studio in Washington, DC, that will focus on developing a dynamic set of educational video programs;

     ▪ the creation of five business incubator centers throughout Louisiana to provide space and technology infrastructure resources for emerging businesses.

     “We are proud to partner with Southeastern on this initiative,” said USHCC Foundation Chairman Massey Villarreal. “This partnership will enable us to provide the Latino business community with the proper resources to excel and prosper.”

     “Hispanic entrepreneurs are key players in the U.S. economy, and I am delighted to partner with our friends at Southeastern to create and implement programs which will positively enhance the Hispanic business community,” said Frank Lopez, USHCC Foundation president and CEO.

     The Hispanic community in Louisiana is now estimated to be more than 200,000 with most living in south Louisiana. Last year Southeastern joined with other agencies and organizations to form the Hispanic Business Resources and Technology Center located at Roosevelt Middle School in Kenner. The center provides business seminars and workshops, tutoring and mentoring services for 9th – 12th graders, English language training, and general social services. 

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