Freshly Cut

Meet the SEED20 Class of 2019: The Workers Collaborative Center (program of Latin American Coalition)


Representative: Jose Hernandez-Paris
The Workers Collaborative Center serves the day laborers, a community found in every urban city; these workers are ignored and forgotten until their help is needed for a job. They wait for work on the street corner through hot summer days and snow in the winter, demonstrating an incredible commitment to their work and to provide for their families. The Workers’ Center offers a safe indoor space to exercise their right to work with dignity and respect. The center is more than a place to find employment, it is a shelter where workers are empowered through training, stolen wages are recovered, and the individual becomes family.

What is the focus of your organization?

Latin American Coalition is a community of Latin Americans, immigrants and allies that promotes full and equal participation of all people in the civic, economic and cultural life of North Carolina through direct service and empowerment strategies focused on education, celebration and advocacy.

How did your organization start?

30 years ago, Pastor Salvador Negrin led the effort to support a growing Latino community in the Charlotte area.

What is the issue you’re addressing?

The support of a growing Day Laborer Community that is highly vulnerable and neglected.

Where did your passion for this cause come from?

For seven years Latin American Coalition has been advocating for workers, recuperating an average of $17,000 per year of stolen wages, as well as dealing with issue of unsafe working conditions and poverty.

Why is your work so important?

Day Laborers are the fabric of the growth of Charlotte. They provide critical skills to make sure our lawns are kept, our buildings are built and our roads are constructed. Yet, they are highly abused, keeping them among America’s working poor. If Charlotte is to keep its moral compass, issues of inequities with laborers have to be addressed. We are a community-based solution to a community-wide issue. We charge $0 to provide the service and support.

What are you most excited for as it relates to the SEED20 process?

The networking possibilities to be able to sustain the center and grow it to include women (most of them are domestic workers, and in hospitality industry).

What have you already learned from this process?

There are some wonderful community-based organizations in Charlotte. We need to support their efforts.

What do you hope to get out of SEED20?

Financial support, volunteers, and a good network of individuals who promote the use of the center to connect with the workers.

  latinamericancoalition.org @LaCoalicionCLT @la_coalicion

SEED20 Onstage is on March 25, 2019. Tickets available soon.

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