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More Hispanics Getting Their News in English; GECU Reaches Younger Hispanic Demographic in English
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 6:00 AM

According to a recent Pew Research Hispanic Center survey, news in English is quickly replacing news in Spanish for more and more Hispanic adults in the U.S. Pew researchers report that 82 percent of Hispanics receive at least some news from English-language media, up from 78 percent in 2006.

The study also found that 32 percent of Hispanic adults get their news exclusively in English, up from 22 percent in 2006. Those who received some news in Spanish fell from 78 percent in 2006 to 68 percent now. While these aren’t yet earth-shattering changes, the trend suggests a growth in bilingual or English-dominant Hispanics. In fact, all the trends and statistics point to younger Hispanics interacting in English more than in Spanish.

Credit unions like GECU are paying attention. A border town, El Paso is about 80 percent Hispanic. Twenty-five percent of El Paso residents are foreign-born. Very much a bilingual community, GECU president and CEO Crystal Long says the credit union communicates to the public in English and Spanish.

“We have found that while the older Hispanic generation tends to be Spanish-dominant, when communicating with a younger Hispanic demographic, we have more success doing so in English,” notes Long.

That’s not surprising considering that the Pew survey found that 41 percent of Hispanics between the ages 18 to 29 — a highly desirable marketing demographic — obtain news only in English. That sharply contrasts with Hispanics over age 65, where 43 percent receive news only in Spanish. One notable exception: Older, financially secure and educationally accomplished Hispanic adults also are more likely to read and watch news only in English.

When communicating with the public, Long says the credit union utilizes multiple medias, but still finds the branch an effective tool.

“We have found that having a strong and visible presence in the community is critical to earning the trust and business of the Hispanic demographic,” adds Long.    

For its success, and commitment to meeting the needs of the Hispanic community, GECU has recently earned the Cornerstone Credit Union League’s Juntos Avanzamos designation.

Juntos Avanzamos means “Together we Advance.” It is a designation that must be earned. Credit unions seeking to achieve this designation must go through an application and review process, and only to those credit unions that have demonstrated they have the infrastructure; capacity and commitment to serve the financial needs of Hispanic families are awarded with the designation.

GECU will officially receive the designation and a Juntos Avanzamos flag Aug. 28. Other credit unions to have just received this designation include Randolph-Brooks FCU (RBFCU), Southwest 66 CU and TCC CU. A Juntos Avanzamos flag raising ceremony will be held Sept. 5 at RBFCU. Dates have not yet been confirmed for the other two.

Additional information on the League’s Juntos Avanzamos program is available in the Outreach section of our website. Among other things, credit unions will find an online application. The League has also created a Hispanic outreach forum, so credit unions can share best practices. Please note that you will need to enter your username and password in order to access the forum.

A wealth of information and resources is available to member-credit unions on the League’s website. If you do not have log-in credentials, please visit our web site and complete the short online registration.