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Wood Education and Resource Center

Hispanic Worker Integration Site

Effectively managing employees is an important aspect of a successful business. Like many labor-intensive industries, the wood products industry has increasingly turned to hiring Hispanic workers to maintain a competitive edge. These companies and their Industry Associations have recognized the challenges they were facing with their Hispanic workforce.  They approached the USDA Forest Service’s Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC) to assist.

To identify obstacles, current training needs, and optimal delivery methods of information, an assessment of participating companies and Hispanic workers in the wood products industry was completed in late 2002 and early 2003. Based on the results of this assessment, several specific products were identified for development. (You can download the Executive Summary and complete Assessment Report here.)

While focusing on integrating Hispanics into the wood products industry, these products can help improve communications and information exchange for all workers. Most were developed for use by managers and supervisors in the wood product industry.

Small Guide for the Hispanic Immigrant—This was written especially for the Latin American or Hispanic immigrant working in the United States.  Its purpose is to offer a summary of practical information that will be useful in American life. It answers many of the questions that sometimes cause difficulties for immigrants living in this country. This guide can be downloaded here.

Spanish/English Wood Products Terminology—This audio glossary will help management and Hispanic workers develop "survival" language skills.  Words and phrases are matched across rows.  Find the term of interest, go across to the right or left to find the translation and click on the desired word or phrase to hear the pronunciation in either language.  Your computer will open your default audio program to access these files.  Depending on your connection speed and type of audio program this may take several seconds. Please click here to access to the glossary.

Company Orientation and Employee Motivation—An effective orientation process can make a tremendous difference in whether a new employee becomes an asset or liability. The time and effort invested in the beginning of employment can insure a happier, safer and more productive workforce.

In the workplace, motivation is a concept describing efforts to increase employees’ work performance and productivity.  Attempts to motivate employees to better or even acceptable performance often gives mixed or disappointing results.
A detailed guide can be downloaded as a PDF file.

Achieving Quality Through Teamwork—Getting your employees to adopt a quality mindset is the real key to producing high quality products and services. Employees must feel a sense of ownership. With ownership, employees feel a sense of pride that their product or service has the highest reputation in the marketplace. This document can help form effective teams to increase productivity and product quality.

There are several exercises you may want to include in this process.  One is the Airplane Exercise. This exercise is ideal for showing the difference between individual and team effort. Participants see how they can increase productivity, efficiency and profitability by working as a team rather than as individuals. 


Related Links of Interest

Spanish-Language Compliance Assistance Resources

Hispanic logging worker safety in the south

Assessing the needs of Spanish workers in logging

Safety Training for Spanish-Speaking Workers in the Logging Industry in the Southeastern United States



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