find ways to reach out to some part of that audience. Over the last decade or so, they have realized that there is an untapped opportunity and market for their products and services right here in the US. The Hispanic population in the US is the largest and the fastest growing segment. The latest census reports estimate it at more than 19% of the total population. Hispanic purchasing power is well over $1.9 trillion. Higher birth rates, continued immigration and a younger average age in the Latino population make this a very dynamic segment of the population. Spanish is rapidly becoming our nation’s unofficial second language. The US Census reports that 42 million people over the age of 5 speak Spanish at home—that’s about 72% of the US Hispanic population! According to a recent study of the US Hispanic Market conducted by Strategy Research Corporation, 64% of Hispanics indicate that Spanish is the language they feel most comfortable speaking. The majority of Hispanics born in the US also learn Spanish first (59%). While most of the US Hispanic population can also speak English well, the ability to speak the Spanish language and to communicate better culturally gives another entry point to this important population segment, particularly for those entities who deal with the public directly. Even if the Hispanic client or customer’s English is fluent, at times they may be more comfortable dealing with certain transactions or personal matters in Spanish. This includes things like healthcare services and medical procedures, mental health counseling, banking, mortgage and loan information, automotive sales and service, insurance, tax consulting and real estate just to name a few. Anytime you can establish a good rapport with a customer or associate your potential for sales and success improves markedly, so retail is also among the entities that can greatly benefit from having bilingual staff.