By: Murray A. Mann and Rose Mary Bombela-Tobias
Hispanic professional associations can play a pivotal role in maximizing career opportunities for Latinos. Many organizations strategically sponsor career centers, career fairs, professional development, mentoring programs, networking, scholarships, advocacy, benefits programs, and social functions. Several of the national organizations have local and student chapters. The groups often maintain strategic partnerships with employers that hire from their specialized career fields.
Some niche organizations are leading reverse efforts to help corporations grow their diverse talent by lending themselves in a way that creates stronger retention. Manny Espinoza, CEO of ALPFA explains that while their main mission is to build Hispanic leadership in accounting, finance and other related fields, ALPFA’S employment relationships with corporations have grown exponentially due to its talented, experienced membership. In fact, Espinoza said some companies will also utilize ALPFA as their own employee resource group if they do not have a large number of Latinos on board (read more at ’Hispanic Employee Networks / Affinity Groups).
If any of the associations are of interest you, we recommend that you:
- Review the organization’s website thoroughly for free services and member benefits
- Identify a chapter in your local area
- Sign up for the groups electronic newsletters, eList and mailing list (check privacy policies)
- Search current job postings and check out companies that support the association
- Submit your resume to the organization’s resume database or job matching system. (check privacy policies)
- Establish a networking relationship with appropriate staff contacts and members
- Participate in the organizations message boards for information gathering and networking
- Attend onsite or participate in online organization events, professional development activities, mentorship programs and career conferences
- Volunteer if you can