Perdue awards $20,000 to La Plaza Delaware Latino Leadership Program

As part of a commitment to improving the quality of life in its communities, Perdue Farms is supporting La Plaza Delaware and its new Latino Leadership Program with a $20,000 grant funded by the Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation.

The donation from Perdue’s charitable arm is part of the company’s Delivering Hope to Our Neighbors awareness campaign focused on improving quality of life and building strong communities.

La Plaza’s leadership program will focus on transforming high-potential Latinos into high-performing leaders, with a focus on Gen Z and Millennials. Approximately 50 people from across Delaware will participate in the first year.

“We want to help aspiring leaders develop the skills necessary to promote immediate and lasting results for themselves and the organizations they serve,” said Mary Dupont, executive director of La Plaza Delaware.

La Plaza will use a nationally recognized program from the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement that includes three months of programming content, networking and collaboration in a group project. Nuestras Raices, a Wilmington-based nonprofit cultural organization, is a program partner. Additional funders include the Arsht-Cannon Fund and the Hispanic Commission of Delaware, which is also a program partner.

La Plaza Delaware is a nonprofit partnership created to increase opportunity, business acumen, and prosperity for Latin American and minority-owned businesses.

Delaware Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long, who also attended the press conference, said the first state should be proud of the organizations that support La Plaza’s leadership.

Delaware Hispanic Commission Chairman Carlos de los Ramos said the Latino community is changing and evolving rapidly. “We are the new leaders. We are the people who move and shake up the economy here in the State of Delaware. This program will help us develop even more leaders,” he said.

Funding from the Perdue Foundation will support HACE in southern Delaware, building on the alliance’s track record of professional leadership development with workshops, mentorship and leadership training for community leaders and entrepreneurs emerging.

Delaware is the 37th state to join HACE. Since 1982, HACE has been a resource for Latinos in the workplace and an expert for companies looking to access diverse talent. Through professional development, resources and networks, and by providing access to meaningful career opportunities, HACE helps Latinos succeed.

“In our survey to assess the needs and capacity of Latin American businesses in Sussex County, a common theme emerged,” Dupont said. “Business owners were reluctant to take on high-level leadership roles because they were focused on day-to-day business survival. However, they were convinced that their children, who grew up here and are more comfortable with the language and culture, are in a better position to represent the community. These comments highlighted the need for a two-generation approach that includes business and leadership development to achieve the goals of capacity building, increased financial stability and self-reliance.

Kevin E. Boling