The power of a good progressional organization cannot be overstated. Generally offering networking opportunities, professional development, educational programs, legal advocacy, and other types of career support, professional organizations exist across the country in just about every field imaginable, and there are many just for Hispanics. What follows is a list comprising 10 of the best.
Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA): Formed in Los Angeles in 1972, the ALPFA has the distinction of being the first national Latino professional association in the United States. The agency offers networking and professional leadership development opportunities — all in service of its mission: “To empower and develop Latino men and women as leaders of character for the nation, in every sector of the global economy.”
National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals: The self-described “Voice for Hispanic Real Estate,®” this group has more than 20,000 members across the country. Through education, advocacy, and faciliting relationships between industry stakeholders, the group pursues its mission: “to advance sustainable Hispanic homeownership. NAHREP accomplishes its mission by.”
Hispanic/ Latino Professionals Association: Working to educate Hispanics and Latinos about career opportunities available through organizations that support their communities, the HLPA has offered “America’s Best companies & organizations with multicultural, diversity, and inclusion based recruiting resources” since forming in 1997. The organization is known for publishing a set of lists of America’s Best Places For Latinos To Work.
The National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA): Founded in 1988, this group is committed to “increasing the number of Hispanics graduating with MBA’s, NSHMBA opens doors for Hispanic talent by sourcing leadership positions, securing job placement and enhancing professional development,” as per its website.
The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE): Established in Los Angeles in 1974 by a group of engineers, this network boasts a “strong but independent” network of professional and student chapters across the United States. “SHPE changes lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize its fullest potential and to impact the world through STEM awareness, access, support and development,” according to the official site.
Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science: Through outcome-based programming and initiatives, SACNAS is “dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanic and Native American scientists—from college students to professionals—to attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in science.”
The Latin Business Association (LBA): With roots stretching back 1976, the LBA is “the nation’s most active Latin business trade associations on the basis of active membership and overall outreach to its member business owners,” according to its website. Aiming to be a “unifying voice for Latin business,” the organization offers events, programs, and services intended to promote business growth.
United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: Since 1979, the USHCC has worked toward the economic growth and development of America’s entrepreneurs. With more than 200 chambers and business associations across the country — including partnerships with more than 240 major corporations — the USHCC aims to “implement and strengthen national programs that assist the economic development of Hispanic firms,” as well as promote trade between U.S. and Latin American business, influence policies that affect the Hispanic business community, and offer technical assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs and business organizations.
The National Hispanic Medical Association: Representing some 50,000 Hispanic physicians across the country, this organization has worked since forming in 1994 to become “the national leader to improve the health of Hispanic populations.” The mission: “to empower Hispanic physicians to lead efforts to improve the health of Hispanic and other underserved populations in collaboration with Hispanic state medical societies, residents, and medical students, and other public and private sector partners.”
Hispanic National Bar Association: Representing the interests of Hispanic legal professionals in the United States and its territories, this agency uses advocacy, education, professional development, and numerous programs and scholarships to pursue several core goals. First and foremost: “Enrich and diversify the legal profession, judiciary, and legislature through improved recruitment, retention, and promotion of Latinos, including targeted identification and endorsement and/or promotion of highly-qualified Latino candidates for legal positions including but not limited to judicial and legislative openings at the state and federal level.”