Mitchell manufacturers hire more Hispanic workers

MGN

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) - Manufacturers in southeast South Dakota are looking to tap into a growing Hispanic population in a city with a low unemployment rate.

The Daily Republic reports that Mitchell's Hispanic or Latino population grew to about 2.7 percent in 2016, up from 1.7 percent in 2010.

Lori Essig is a regional workforce coordinator for the Mitchell Area Development Corporation. Essig says Mitchell's unemployment rate was 2.4 percent in August, which shows that there are more jobs than people available in the community.

Clark Breitag is a human resources manager at Trail King in Mitchell. He says the low unemployment rate forced the manufacturing company to change their recruiting approach.

Breitag says they found many potential candidates that didn't speak English, so the company uses bilingual employees to bridge language barriers. Trail King also provides on-the-job training.

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