Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of East Tennessee

Celebrate Diversity and Together we will Succeed!

About Us

The vision of HCCET is to see Hispanic-owned businesses thrive and to see the Hispanic population of East Tennessee fully connected to local and regional businesses as consumers and employees. Our mission is to foster the development of vibrant, prosperous Hispanic-owned businesses and to connect businesses throughout East Tennessee to the Hispanic marketplace. We will accomplish this mission through a combination of programs and services including: Networking to engage and build relationships, Education to encourage cultural connections and stronger businesses, Advocacy to support initiatives and legislation that furthers the interests of our constituents, Workforce development to develop and promote the Hispanic workforce and connect that workforce with available jobs, Leadership development, and partnerships and alliances that support our goals and initiatives.

Legal Entities   HCCET is organized under Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code. Its sister 501 (c)(3) organization, The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation, was founded to facilitate educational outreach and economic development efforts in our community.

History

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of East Tennessee (HCCET) was founded in 2005 by a group of Hispanic business owners and professionals working in the Knoxville Metropolitan Area. They recognized the enormous economic potential and impact of Hispanic businesses in the United States and in our East Tennessee region.

Opportunity

According to a recent study released by the University of Tennessee, Tennessee has the third fastest growing Hispanic population in the country and represents one of the fastest growing consumer markets in the United States. Latinos represent 4.6 percent of Tennessee’s population, according to the 2010 Census, up from 2.2 percent in 2000. Even though the growth rate was very high, the number of Hispanic persons is still much lower than the national average 16.3 percent. This growth has driven a sharp increase in the number of Hispanic-owned businesses. These businesses have been drivers of job growth in a difficult economy and represent one of the best opportunities for new jobs in the region. HCCET has a great opportunity to support and promote Hispanic businesses and to help forge strategic relationships between Hispanic and mainstream businesses and government agencies seeking minority vendors, subcontractors and employees

Minority Business Services    Hispanic business owners have a unique opportunity to increase or add market share through government contracting and connecting with private enterprises that have diversity purchasing goals.  As part of it’s Business Services program, HCCET will develop programs to educate and assist Minority Business Enterprises (MBE’s) in qualifying for these purchases and contracts.

 

Workforce Development

There is a growing demand from the local business community to employ bilingual/bicultural individuals.  Through its Workforce Development Initiative, HCCET will work closely with the community and organizations to support the advancement and education of the Hispanic population in our community and to positively impact workforce readiness and assists businesses in reaching their diversity employment goals.  WD programs will include at least two job fairs including one conference and will result in at least five workforce success stories.

Education

HCCET recognizes the importance of education in accomplishing it’s mission to foster the development of vibrant, prosperous Hispanic businesses in the region.  A minimum of three Business Education Programs will be initiated through HCCET’s Educational Foundation including a startup program for Hispanic-owned businesses and a Minority Business Services project.