Bilingual workers a plus but not a necessity in Spanish-speaking Imperial Valley

IMPERIAL VALLEY, Calif.– The second most common language in the United States, Spanish, is the primary language spoken at home by more than 35.5 million Americans aged 5 or older. Businesses all over the nation are looking for bilingual applicants to help turn these people into new customers. But how important is it in the workplace? Being only minutes away from the U.S.- Mexican border, it would seem local businesses are favoring bilingual applicants in order to provide better service to a wider range of customers. “It is very helpful because a lot of our customers come from across the border,” said Alfonso Ruiz, store manager of the Imperial Valley College bookstore.