Associations Team Up to Form First U.S. Language Lobby

With the backing of two major language-industry associations, the American Language Enterprise Advocacy hopes to give the industry a bigger voice in Washington, DC.

The $25 billion language industry is ready to boost its lobbying prowess.

On Monday, the world-focused Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) joined forces with the U.S.-based National Council for Languages and International Studies (NCLIS) to announce the launch of the American Language Enterprise Advocacy (ALEA), a joint effort that should help the growing industry gain a foothold in Washington, DC.

The group announced the launch at GALA’s first U.S.-based event, the 2013 GALA Language of Business conference in Miami. More details:

Why it’s needed: The language industry includes “individuals, companies, and organizations that enable communication among different cultures and languages,” according to a statement announcing┬áthe ALEA launch. NCLIS Executive Director Bill Rivers noted that “the language enterprise needs a national voice because language is the key to success in the 21st century. Globalization and the information economy depend on the entire language enterprise to function.”

The group’s goals: The new lobbying group hopes to push for more educational funding as well as policies designed to encourage stronger confidence with language at a national level. “For too long, language has been an afterthought for government and business leaders who make policy decisions that not only undermine the importance of language competence, but seriously hinder our ability to compete on a global scale,” explained Hans Fenstermacher, GALA’s CEO. “The costs to U.S. institutions and businesses are enormous and, for the most part, completely avoidable.”

What advice would you offer to a new lobbying group just getting its feet wet? Let us know your thoughts below.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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