Sunday, February 8, 2004

Nashville businesses are speaking Spanish

"In hiring Spanish-speaking employees such as Miguel Torres, the Nashville nonprofit group Affordable Housing Resources joined other Nashville employers who reach out to Spanish-speaking residents."

Law firm Bass Berry & Sims has two fluent Spanish-speaking lawyers, including David Esquivel, who represents a former Salvadoran coronel in a human rights case. "The firm has enjoyed an 'unexpected, great benefit' in hiring able employees who are bilingual," according to Jennifer Habib, the firm's marketing director.

"'We get calls all the time' for Spanish-speaking workers, said Greg Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce."

"Of the 5.35 million or more residents of Tennessee, at least 133,000 speak Spanish at home, according to 2000 U.S. Census data on language use. That's nearly triple the 48,531 counted in 1990. Spanish is the most-spoken foreign language in Tennessee, the data show."

The Tennessean

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