(Tampa, FL) – The Welcome to Florida campaign of The LIBRE Institute was covered by the Associated Press. The program teaches job hunting skills as well as English as a second language courses to new arrivals to the state from Puerto Rico and elsewhere.
Read the full article here.
“At least 450,000 Puerto Ricans moved to the U.S. mainland over the past decade, causing the island’s population to drop for the first time in modern history. It now has about 3.4 million people. How many have permanently relocated because of Hurricane Maria is not yet known, but estimates range from 115,000 to 200,000. There are now about 5.3 million Puerto Ricans on the U.S. mainland and they are concentrated in the Northeast and Florida.”
“A conservative effort is combining education and politics. The LIBRE Institute, which is funded by the billionaire activist Koch brothers, offers “Welcome to Florida” classes aimed at newly arrived Puerto Ricans. They teach English and job-hunting skills, concluding with a pitch for what Cesar Grajales describes as “free-market” principles.”
“We don’t talk about candidates, but we do talk about public policies,” said Grajales, who is director of coalitions at the LIBRE Initiative, a parent organization.”
“Around 80 people were attending three separate classes on a recent evening near Orlando, part of the Central Florida region where a majority of the Puerto Ricans in the state have settled.”