MILFORD, Del. — As part of a commitment to improve 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 through the Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation. The donation from Perdue’s charitable giving arm is part of the company’s Delivering Hope to Our Neighbors® outreach focused on improving quality of life and building strong communities.
La Plaza’s leadership program will aim to transform high-potential Latinos into high-performing leaders, focusing on GenZ and Millennials. Around 50 individuals from across Delaware will participate in the first year.
“We want to help rising leaders develop the skills necessary to promote immediate and sustainable results for themselves and the organizations they serve,” said Mary Dupont, La Plaza Delaware executive director, at a press conference at Perdue’s Milford, Del., operation.
La Plaza will use a nationally recognized curriculum from Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE) that includes three months with programming content, networking, and collaboration in a group project. Nuestras Raices, the cultural nonprofit based in Wilmington, is a program partner. Additional funders include the Arsht Cannon Fund and the Delaware Hispanic Commission, which is also a program partner.
La Plaza Delaware is a nonprofit partnership created to increase opportunities, business savvy, and prosperity for Latino and minority-owned businesses.
Delaware Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long, said the First State should be proud of the organizations that are supporting La Plaza’s leadership program.
“I am thrilled over the moon with the partnerships that we have here,” Hall-Long said. “This will make a difference in the lives of individuals who will go through the program … and to the state. We need to have true representation not only in workforce but in all leadership opportunities in our communities.”
Gary Miller, vice president of human resources and interim chief diversity officer for Perdue Farms, said the leadership program will strengthen the region as rising Latino leaders use the skills they gather to further their careers and serve the community in many meaningful ways.
“We are so grateful for an opportunity to invest in a leadership training program for the Latino population, specifically, and partner with such wonderful organizations as La Plaza Delaware,” he added.
Delaware Hispanic Commission Chair Carlos de los Ramos said the Latino community is fast changing and evolving.
“We are the new leaders. We are the people who are moving and shaking the economy here in the state of Delaware. This program will help us nurture even more leaders,” he said.
Funding from the Perdue Foundation will support HACE in southern Delaware, building on HACE’s record of professional leadership development, with workshops, mentoring and leadership training for emerging community leaders and entrepreneurs.
Delaware is the 37th state to join HACE. Since 1982, HACE has been a resource for Latinos in the workplace and is an expert for corporations seeking to access diverse talent. Through professional development, resources and networks, and by offering access to meaningful career opportunities, HACE helps Latinos succeed.
“In our survey to assess the needs and capacity of Latino businesses in Sussex County, Del., a common theme emerged,” Dupont said. “Business owners were reluctant to assume high-profile leadership roles, as they were focused on day-to-day business survival. However, they were confident 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. This feedback underscored 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.”