U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, recognized the contributions of Hispanic Americans for National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th-October 15th):

“Hispanic Americans have made outstanding contributions in business, education, the military, government, and the arts.

“Today, Hispanic-owned businesses are growing our economy and creating jobs.  As the largest ethnic minority in our country, Hispanic men and women serve honorably in our military and have sacrificed for the freedoms all Americans enjoy.  The rich Hispanic culture continues to have a strong influence on the nation especially in the academic and arts communities.

“Unfortunately, unemployment rates among Hispanic Americans are disproportionately high.  Enhancing education, including programs for our growing English-learning population and job training, is a path to family-wage employment and economic success. We must also prioritize keeping kids in school, raise high school graduation rates, and provide opportunities for affordable higher education, which is why I have been a longtime supporter of our region’s Community and Technical Colleges.

“While hailing from many different backgrounds, Hispanic Americans hold the same values of family, civic engagement, and pride in hard work that tie our country together. I am proud to represent the strong community of Hispanic men and women who make up a vital part of the fabric of the South Sound.”