People First

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Author-Brittani-Sieversby Brittani SieversOct. 15, 2021

This article is part of our Southland Stories series, which highlights our employees and their diverse experiences and backgrounds. By recognizing and supporting our employees in connection to different awareness months and initiatives, we put our people first, directly sharing employee experiences, raising awareness, and fostering connection and inclusion across our company.  

Southland Industries is proud to be comprised of a diverse group of passionate individuals committed to performing our best. Our diversity inspires us to be forward-thinking leaders who acknowledge, celebrate, and appreciate our colleagues and business partners.

From September 15–October 15, we celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month. A national observance of Latino history and culture, Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of the history, achievements, culture, and contributions of Americans who come from or whose ancestry extends from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

At Southland, we have a large, diverse group who identify as Hispanic or Latino. It is paramount that we acknowledge the differences of our colleagues and connect with their rich and diverse cultures. We invite you to reflect on the contributions the Latino community has made to the success of Southland and the construction industry by celebrating the voices of our employees and their connection to Southland regarding their Hispanic heritage.

Here is what our employees shared:

Isabella-Vesce Busquets, Caracas, Venezuela: "Being Hispanic has always been my biggest pride and joy. I love the fact that I was born there and have the opportunity to be here in the U.S. and work with such an amazing company. Working with Southland opened a great set of doors to help other Hispanics that are in the engineering and construction field. Southland supports and takes pride in diverse heritages."

Joshua Castillo, Los Angeles, California (Mexican Heritage): "I was lucky enough to have my career start with Southland and ever since then, I've been happy."

Reyann Contreras (Mexican Heritage): "In Mexican culture, family is very important, and I've been with Southland for 31 years. Southland is family to me and in a Mexican household, we rely on our family to help and support us — and I feel that way toward the safety department here.

I have the best job I could have ever imagined…I started as a receptionist and then moved to safety coordinator to safety manager to safety director and now am the vice president of safety and risk management. It has been a wild ride full of terrific challenges, exciting possibilities, and rewarding results."

Brian Merida, Paramount, California (Guatemalan and Dominican Heritage): "Southland was the best move career-wise. It has really opened doors for me! It's cool seeing people that look like me at the company because it doesn't make you feel alone."

Jose Hernandez, Chicago, Illinois (Mexican Heritage): "Southland has given me a lot of opportunity for growth over the past eight years, and they have provided me with the necessary training and tools. When I started at Southland, I was a mechanical designer and have since transitioned to the BIM department."

Jose Felsmann, Caracas, Venezuela: "The love for family, it's the nucleus of our culture and heritage, and it's seen here at Southland."