Connect educators and employers to prepare students for careers in the language services industry
ALC Bridge Promotes the Preparation of Students for Jobs in the Language Industry
Language companies provide a range of services, and are always looking for new college graduates to fill positions in translation, interpretation, teaching, and testing. Unfortunately, too few language majors come into the market place with real world skills. Not surprisingly, too few universities in the US offer programs in the field of translation and interpreting. The ALC Bridge will bring together educators and employers with the mutual goal of helping students begin professional careers in language services.
This effort starts with education. Globalization has led to a steady increase in the demand for language services in recent years. The biggest buyers of these services domestically are the United States government and the healthcare industry. There is also high demand in the courts, retail, customer service, and financial sectors, to name a few.
In the US there is a daily need for services in 30 to 50 languages. College students looking to enter the language industry need a broad set of skills, in addition to language skills. There are jobs waiting for them.
ALC Bridge, an academic outreach initiative, looks for ways to increase connections, relationships, and shared learning between the professional and academic sides of the language services supply chain.
The Story of ALC Bridge
The Association of Language Companies (ALC) is a national trade association representing companies that provide translation, interpreting, localization, language training and many other technical language services. At an ALC UnConferenceTM in Sonoma, CA in January 2017, members identified the number one challenge facing their businesses is insufficient linguistic resources in their pipelines to meet the growing demand for professional translators, interpreters, localizers and project managers.
As a result, The ALC determined that it would benefit by helping academic institutions to understand its businesses better, so that academia could prepare language students (future employees) with the knowledge and skills needed by the real world. A task force was formed and under the leadership of the Board of Directors the ALC’s academic outreach initiative (subsequently called ALC Bridge) was created.
The first step was taken when ALC Board Member, Kathleen K Diamond, invited colleagues from both the employer and educator sides of the issue to come together as a volunteer committee. Although the requirement by language service companies for qualified language talent had been established, it was important to learn that academic institutions were also looking for job opportunities for their language students.
The second step was to look for ways to connect the business world with educational institutions and to work together in preparing students for careers in the language services industry.
So after a tremendous amount of planning and hard work from a dedicated team of people from all sides of this mission, here we are. Now it's up to you. Join. Engage. Contribute. The Bridge community needs you.