The San Francisco Bay Area SHPE chapter was founded on June 14, 1983 to bring the goals of SHPE as an organization that aimed to serve the local bay area communities. From its inception, the officers that have taken on the leadership have found new and innovative ways to address the needs of our Hispanic community.
The chapter has grown in many ways, each year looking to build on the success of the prior years. In 2002, the chapter established its presence in the world wide web with the development of its web site. During this same year, the chapter continued to go through administrative improvements that streamlined the activities and events carried out by the chapter. The efficiency and hard work of the chapter members and executive board was realized in 2003 and 2004 as it was awarded with the Region I Professional Chapter of the Year Award. This was largely due to efforts in mentorship and outreach programs such as the SHPE Engineer Day at the Exploratorium, and partnering with many of the student chapters to give presentations at local meetings and conferences. In 2003, the chapter established a relationship with Mercury News; co-hosting the Santa Clara Career Fairs as well as membership in the San Francisco Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In 2004, the chapter increased its board by adding a Professional Development Coordinator and an Educational Outreach officer positions in order to address the growing need to increase the chapter’s participation in events that would benefit professional and student members in the local communities.
During both the 2005, and 2006 years, our members celebrated Engineering Week at the California Academy of Sciences and began participating in the Sally Ride Science Festivals. The bi-annual officer retreats were also started to facilitate the transition between the outgoing and incoming boards. The chapter has continued to thrive and keep up with the annual programs from previous years, as well as, added more, such as, Shadow Day, and Family Science Nights. Also, attending more professional business mixers proved to be a major contributor to the efforts led in hosting the Regional and National Conferences. In 2006 the chapter not only achieved their third Regional Professional Chapter of the Year but also achieved the first National Professional Chapter of the year.
During 2007 the chapter’s challenge was to keep their membership informed regarding and active in current and new events. The board was able to enhance our relationship with Univision, one of the main Hispanic TV networks who supports our chapter by helping to advertise our core annual events to the local community—transmitting our mission to a larger population. Due to the large amount of events happening every month we started sending regular newsletters with the latest information about local, regional or national events. The chapter also aimed to build strong relationships with local universities. The chapter created a stronger bond with other local groups as well such as NSHMBA, ALPHA, SWE, NSBE and the San Francisco Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In March 2007, we invited professional members from neighboring chapters such as Silicon Valley and Sacramento to create a stronger bond. As a result, the Sacramento Professional Chapter became motivated and is an active chapter once again.
During 2008, a new professional relationship development program was created with corporate- companies partners. The partnership with APPLE made possible the success of new events like the BOMBA BLAST Resume / Mock Interview Session, which prepared students to attend major career fairs such as the SHPE National Conference. The CLOROX Company paid for 1,000 Region 1 students their SHPE 2008-2009 membership fees. The Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) company provided for the second year the facilities and excellent speakers for the Professionals Back to the Classroom event. IBM hosted a tour visit to their unique Almedan site research facility for SHPE members.. GOOGLE presented a resume workshop for students at the 2008 National SHPE Conference and became one of the sponsors. East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) has dedicated hiring efforts to our SHPE SFBA members and ALEX SOTELO CELLARS continued sponsoring complementary wine for the annual End of the Year Banquet. Past officers including key chapter presidents have sat down with each company, one at a time, and talked to managers and vice-presidents to seek common benefits for each of our organizations. These actions developed a closer relationship with the companies. These companies have not only sponsored and/or participated in our chapter events but have also hired our engineers for excellent career opportunities.
Recently, the economy and our country’s situation has definitely impacted everyone. The San Francisco Bay Area SHPE chapter has made a clear analysis and changes to be able to provide its members help through training workshops, network with companies and providing insight into potential career opportunities. You current officer board looks forward to better serve both our historically underrepresented communities as well as our professional members.