Celebrating National Caribbean-American Heritage Month and Recognizing Contributions to U.S. Business Growth

June 06, 2018

National Caribbean-American Heritage Month was adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2005 “to recognize the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States.” It acknowledges the many ways Caribbean-Americans contribute to the fabric of life in the U.S., including valuable business and industry support.

As famous Caribbean immigrants, such as founding father Alexander Hamilton and journalist Malcolm Gladwell have proven, the impact of diversity on our society, as well as the business world is immense.

And, today it’s not just Caribbean transplants to the mainland that are having an impact. Businesses are springing up all across the U.S.-owned Caribbean islands, with many of them in the technology sector. These businesses are not only bringing new ideas and innovation to U.S. industry, but they’re also playing a critical role in helping to fill a much-needed tech talent gap.

One area where this is particularly evident is in the shortage of data scientists. The growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – in areas ranging from customer service chatbots to predictive analytics – is making it hard for companies to find the AI talent they need to develop and train algorithms. Because of this, many mainland companies are turning to U.S.-based nearshore service providers to meet the talent need, as well as to lower the costs of building their own expensive infrastructure to support the ongoing development of AI solutions.

A pipeline of highly educated, qualified talent

With the University of Puerto Rico and similar schools graduating highly educated and technically trained students each year, as well as students graduating from mainland universities who are bringing their skills back to Puerto Rico, there is a steady stream of new qualified technology professionals to supplement the growing needs of U.S. industry.

Nearshoring firms that specialize in AI, as well as other types of technology and business expertise, are hiring these professionals and helping U.S. firms gain the insight and competitive advantage that they need. Nearshorers are able to provide the same services and capabilities as U.S. mainland firms, but at a lower cost. The fees of software developers in Puerto Rico, for example, are typically 30-50 percent lower than their mainland U.S. counterparts, even though they offer the same quality.

Caribbean-Americans have contributed greatly to U.S. innovation, culture, history, cuisine and the arts – and the business realm is no exception.

An unknown author once wrote, “Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Celebrate it every day.” National Caribbean-American Month recognizes the strength the U.S. possesses because of this diversity, as well as our common commitment to innovation, leadership and the entrepreneurial spirit.

 

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