CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- In just months Chiquita will start moving into the NASCAR Hall of Fame building uptown, hiring hundreds of local workers. On Wednesday the CEO spoke of the importance the Latino community plays in the company.
"One of the key reasons we came to Charlotte was precisely the diversity of the community,” said Fernando Aguirre, CEO of Chiquita.
Hundreds of Hispanic and non-Hispanic business leaders welcomed Aguirre to the Latin American Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
Aguirre made it very clear he and the multi- billion dollar company he's bringing to Charlotte are deeply embedded in the Latin culture and that will benefit the local community.
"We hire many bilinguals, particularly Latin people. We have half of our workforce here in the U.S is Hispanic and we believe it's a very important part of our culture,” Aguirre added.
Chiquita will be hiring some 200 positions locally.
Latin American Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Astrid Chirinos says this exposure is key to increase awareness of what the Latino community has to offer.
“It is very important. We have companies like Chiquita coming here and making that statement ‘Yes, we are ready, we have infrastructure. Yes, we have professional talent necessary,’" said Chirinos.
And Aguirre says they plan to use that talent.
"I think it will give the Latin community a bigger presence. Hopefully we'll hire many people who are Latin and they will give them a bigger forum to represent our community here in Charlotte,” Aguirre added.
Aguirre announced NASCAR legend Richard Petty as the honorary chairman for the Chiquita Classic, hoping it will get the NASCAR community involved in the classic as well.