GALA, NCLIS Form First-Ever Language Lobby in the United States
The Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) today announced the formation of the American Language Enterprise Advocacy (ALEA), the first-ever lobby to represent the interests of the language industry in the United States.
A joint initiative between GALA and the National Council for Languages and International Studies (NCLIS), ALEA will give a national voice to the country’s $25 billion professional language enterprise, which includes individuals, companies and organizations that enable communication among different cultures and languages.
The language industry is growing several times faster than the U.S. economy and accounts for more than half a million jobs. Overall, language services leverage some $1.5 trillion in U.S. trade.
“Language is integral to our national interest, and it’s time we made ourselves heard in Washington,” said Hans Fenstermacher, CEO of GALA.
”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. The costs to U.S. institutions and businesses are enormous and, for the most part, completely avoidable.”
Dr. Bill Rivers, Executive Director of NCLIS, added, “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.”
ALEA will lobby for increased federal funding for language education and services and for the adoption of policies that promote quality and improve confidence in our national language competence.
Fenstermacher and Rivers announced the formation of ALEA at the 2013 GALA Language of Business conference in Miami, the first time the association’s global event has been held on U.S. soil.
The Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) is the world’s largest localization trade association. As the worldwide voice for the language industry, GALA is a resource for the language business and the organizations it serves. www.gala-global.org.
The National Council for Languages and International Studies is a non-partisan 501(c)4 trade council, representing the interests of the language enterprise to the US Government and working to raise the profile of language in the U.S. www.languagepolicy.org
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