This month marks the 13 Anniversary of National Caribbean American Heritage month and this year’s theme, Contributing to the American Landscape, couldn’t be more fitting.
Today, Caribbean Americans, as well as U.S. territories located in the Caribbean, are contributing greatly to the U.S. in many ways, through tourism, cultural diversity and increasingly through business expertise. And, despite set-backs from the hurricane, Puerto Rico is no exception.
While tourism continues to be a major part of our economy, what is happening in the business offices, manufacturing plants, and board rooms across the island is a silent surge in business as the mainland increasingly realizes the expertise, efficiency and cost-savings that can be gained by working in and with Puerto Rico.
As mainland firms increasingly nearshore work – from IT development to manufacturing – they are greatly contributing to the growth of Puerto Rican firms, while filling much-needed roles caused by a growing shortage of tech talent on the mainland.
And, more than five million Puerto Ricans live on the mainland and continue to be proud of their heritage. Many successful state-side Puerto Ricans are committed to serving as mentors to Puerto Rico-based businesses and willing to invest in the island, as well as in its start-ups and firmly established businesses.
As we mark Caribbean American Heritage month, it’s important to note how far Puerto Rico has come in becoming a prime destination for entrepreneurial businesses, providing talent, creativity and diversity to businesses – both on the island and the mainland. Through continued investment by mainland businesses, collaborative initiatives like nearshoring, and support of government in the form of tax incentives and other programs that spur growth, we can ensure that this Caribbean territory becomes a key contributor to industrial growth in the U.S.