By Marissa Armas

(CBS4) – Thousands of Coloradans lost their jobs during the pandemic and many people are still out of work. This need prompted a young group of Colorado Latinos to develop an app called Chamba, that bridges language barriers between workers to employers. Chamba is an employment app geared towards helping Latinos find work. The word Chamba is Spanish slang for “work.”

Diego Montemayor, the CEO and co-founder of the company, said a lack of job platforms for Spanish speakers is what prompted them to create the app, and the pandemic highlighted that.

“We saw a huge disconnect between our community, and just jobs, and we decided to make a platform where these two met,” Montemayor said.

Moises Santiago Lopez has been working at Cabron Carbon taqueria for about 3 months.

“I like to cook, and I’m here. And I help my bosses a lot,” said Santiago Lopez.

But the road getting here wasn’t easy. For Santiago Lopez, language was a barrier in getting hired, as well as the pandemic.

“I was desperate at that moment, I didn’t have a job, and a friend told me ‘to download Chamba, it’s easy,’ and I did,” Santiago Lopez said.

Data from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment shows that from September 2020 to August 2021, Latinos in Colorado had an unemployment rate of 7.2%, which is higher than the national average of 5.2%.

“A lot of our community was quote-on-quote ‘offline’ meaning they didn’t have resumes up on Indeed or LinkedIn, there wasn’t a catered platform for the Latino community,” said Corina Hierro, the public relations specialist with Chamba.

And it’s not just for job seekers, employers are using it, too.

“There’s workers ready to work,” said Montemayor. “The companies love it because they have direct access to Latino job seekers, also the job seekers love the app, because they can look for jobs in their language and from the comfort of their own homes.”

The app serves all industries, but focuses on manufacturing, construction, cleaning, and hospitality. Not only is it helping thousands in Colorado, but around the country, and for Santiago Lopez he’s grateful that at the touch of a button, he was able to connect and make a living. The app is free for job seekers, but there is a small fee for employers who want to post their jobs. It’s also fully functional in both English and Spanish. While the app is geared towards Latinos, it’s a platform for anyone looking for a job.

“Download Chamba, it’s the best app to find a job,” Santiago Lopez said.

Marissa Armas