Mike Sotelo grew up in East Los Angeles and moved to Seattle in 1985. Mike’s rags to riches story began one day when he was driving on Hwy 99 to buy a map at Seattle Auto Club. He got lost and ended up turning around in the parking lot of W.G. Clark Construction. While asking directions, Mike applied for a job and was hired by the construction firm as a carpenter. At the time, he lived in his car near Denny Park until he could save up enough money for a place to stay. Mike eventually worked his way up to being Vice President of Field Operations and partner of the Seattle-based construction firm. In 2000, while at W.G. Clark Construction, Mike started Approach Management Solutions, which now serves over 6000 companies in Washington State. Today, Mike is a nationally recognized leader in work place safety and workforce development and a visible leader in the Pacific Northwest construction industry.
After retiring at 55, Mike soon became restless and went on to create a new Seattle based business called, Consolidar. It is at the center of a larger network helping to build thriving communities of culture in Washington State. Consolidar is primarily concentrating on the Latino community, but Mike feels strongly to help anyone who wants to make a commitment to better themselves. Therefore, Consolidar is open to all. Partners include religious organizations, businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits. Consolidar’s focus is on three areas Mike sees as critical to success: education and training, workforce development, and healthy living. Consolidar has recently formed a unique partnership with Sea Mar Community Health Centers, providing computer kiosks to assist job seekers with high quality employers across the state.
Mike has always been active in service organizations and after his second retirement in 2010, Mike dedicates more of his free time volunteering in the community. He’s the Founder, organizer, and Board Member of Plaza Bank, Past Chair of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Former Chair of the Seattle Police Foundation, Board Member of Regence, and is a member of the Board of Director of the Washington Business .
About the Consolidar Network
The Consolidar Network’s vision is to connect employers with the growing, capable, and job-ready, Latino workforce, and provide sustainable careers for Latino parents to financially support and better educate their children. Achieving that vision will require a scalable method of getting participants to visualize success, and to build self-esteem and self-respect.
The Latino community is the largest and fastest growing minority in the United States with over 53 million people. If this community was a Spanish speaking country, it would be larger than Spain and the second largest in the world after Mexico.
The influence of Latinos is leading a profound change in America. Latinos have strong family values and are entrepreneurial at heart. Census data from 1990 to 2012, shows self-employment among Latinos growing 10 times faster than the U.S. population overall to a level of more than 2 million. According to a study from the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Latino operated firms grew from $358 billion in gross sales to $468 billion over the period 2007-2013. This impressive economic growth happened over a period dominated by the Great Recession.
However, Latinos ability to flourish is constrained by a variety of pervasive obstacles such as a language, immigration status, and cultural differences. Latinos in the United States experience lower educational attainment, lower income, higher rates of unemployment, and lower levels of health insurance coverage than the population as a whole. Closing these gaps will benefit the whole country by increasing the pool of skilled labor for an expanding economy and reducing the burden on public assistance for current programs.
Consolidar is working with businesses and organizations to enable the American Dream for Latino communities across America by fostering a culture of success that leads to: