Automaker was ‘Visionary Sponsor’ of 40th Anniversary Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Conference in Detroit
General Motors encouraged Hispanic students to pursue engineering careers with the automaker as it welcomed the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) at its annual conference in Detroit this past November.
With more than 400 chapters nationally, SHPE is the premier organization aimed at empowering Latinos to realize their fullest potential and impact the world through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) awareness, access, support and development. GM was 2014’s Visionary Sponsor of the autumn conference, which is the largest annual STEM event in the country focused on the Hispanic community.As part of that role, GM brand Chevrolet donated a 2014 Chevy Spark to be raffled in in support of the goal to raise more than $250,000 for the SHPE Foundation.
“In GM we have a committed partner that is helping us empower the Hispanic community to realize its fullest potential,” said Barry Cordero, Interim CEO of SHPE. “GM has embraced the values of our ‘SHPE-familia,’ joining students, sponsors and supporters of SHPE and all those Hispanics in STEM across the country who share common goals and dreams.”
The four-day conference attracted more than 5,000 engineering professionals, students and corporate representatives to Detroit for unique program workshops, featured guest speakers, award ceremonies, technical competitions and a Career Fair and Graduate School Expo. The conference places the automotive industry front and center before the fastest-growing segment of the population, pointing young students to opportunities that can help propel the industry and positively impact Detroit. It’s also a great opportunity for companies to recruit top talent from SHPE membership and provides educational, technical and career opportunities for professional and student engineers, something of which GM hopes to take advantage as a Visionary Sponsor.
“GM wants to be the employer of choice for Hispanic engineers and this conference is a great opportunity to strengthen our relationship with this important community,” said GM President, Dan Ammann.
At the previous year’s SHPE conference, GM was named Company of the Year for its effort to advance STEM education in the Hispanic community and for enhancing the achievements of its Hispanic employees. GM deployed 40 employees to recruit top talent at the SHPE Career Fair that year, resulting in the hiring of 26 Hispanic engineers; these new employees are lovingly referred to as “SHPE-mates,” a term that unites these young people as part of a new generation of talent at the company.
Furthermore, GM leverages its partnerships with key Hispanic organizations to engage with Hispanic talent around the country each year. One of these is Great Minds in STEM™ (GMiS) which recognized Grace Lieblein, GM vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, as the 2014 Engineer of the Year during the 26th Annual HENAAC (Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation) Conference.
“At GM, our workforce thrives on diversity,” said Ken Barrett, GM chief diversity officer. “Our goal is to continue to create opportunities for Hispanics and others to take their performance to the next level with careers that fit their skills and ignite their passion.”
This article is presented by Jack Maxton Chevrolet in Worthington, Ohio.