Hispanic career expo brings 94 exhibitors to Gwinnett Center

DULUTH - The Hispanic community is a growing business market and metro-area companies are reaching out to them.

The seventh annual Hispanic Business and Career Expo drew 94 exhibitors to the Gwinnett Center on Wednesday. Less than half of those companies were Latino-based.

"We want to expand our base of Hispanic clients," said Ingrid Barrios, representing Federal and Hasson, an Atlanta law firm.

Officials with the Georgia Hispanic Chamber Commerce, event sponsors, expected about 800 participants in the networking expo, said Juanita Rivera, spokeswoman.

"It's busier than last year," said Davey Serrano, owner of Serrano Commercial Partners, a Roswell real estate firm. "Many (Latino) businesses started as contractors and grew to established companies or multiple stores."

Carol Zhang, an attorney, walked from booth to booth, networking with prospective clients.

"This is my first time attending," Zhang said. "I'm looking to establish business relationships."

Logistics and superior facilities encouraged officials to hold the expo in Gwinnett County for the past two years.

"The Latino population is larger here and more accessible than it would be in, like, midtown," said Jordi Vinas, director of office operations for the GHCC. "The building and its logistics are perfect for our use."

Participating companies included Home Depot, UPS, Georgia Power, MARTA, AFLAC, AT&T, Delta Airlines, Devry University, Agnes Scott College, Georgia Pacific, Lockheed Martin, Atlanta Latino newspaper, WLQK La Raza radio, Univision, BB&T, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Census Bureau.