San Diego sits at a binational crossroads, perfectly positioned to provide bilingual job candidates in a variety of fields. But local employers still struggle to find qualified bilingual candidates. Employers, language experts and teachers point to one root cause for the disconnect: a public education system that has restricted bilingual education for the past 18 years.
San Diego sits at a binational crossroads, perfectly positioned to provide bilingual job candidates in a variety of fields. One study called Southern California one of the most linguistically diverse areas of its size in the country.
The potential supply is there. At least one in five students in San Diego County schools speaks a language other than English. So is demand for bilingual employees. Research and local hiring experts both say that other skills being equal, employers overwhelmingly prefer to hire bilingual candidates over candidates who speak only English.
Lourdes Sandoval, news director for Entravision, said bilingual skills are crucial to mining stories in a diverse community so close to the international border. Yet, she still needs to look outside the area to find bilingual journalists.
“It’s not easy,” said Sandoval. “I spend months trying to find (bilingual) people and sometimes I have to hire international candidates.”
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