March 11, 2014
Virginia businesses have recognized a new and potentially lucrative market, and are zeroing in on it.
It's the state's growing Hispanic population, which increased from about 78,000 households in 1990 to about 141,000 in 2000.
But the biggest rate of growth has been among Hispanic households where no one older than 14 speaks Spanish. That number increased from about 11-thousand households in 1990 to about 26,000 in 2000.
Northern Virginia and the Richmond area have most of the households where no one older than 14 speaks English.
But small cities such as Galax and Harrisonburg have the highest concentrations of such households, as migrant workers have moved there to work in area factories.
As a result, business associations and chambers of commerce around the state have offering Spanish courses to interested businesses.