The NLSC launches Regional Chapter in Los Angeles, California.

The National Language Service Corps (NLSC) launched a Regional Chapter in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, October 5th 2013, at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). The Los Angeles area is an ideal location for a new Chapter because of its highly diverse language population. Additionally, this location affords the NLSC an opportunity to carry out its mission of maintaining a readily available corps of on-call language volunteers to support the government. Los Angeles is one of three NLSC Regional Chapters established to engage local Members interested in language and culture, professional development, and service opportunities while they are not on assignment. .

The Los Angeles Regional Chapter launch marked a special occasion with keynote speaker and NLSC Member, Dr. Olga Kagan, Director of the National Heritage Language Resource Center at UCLA, addressing the membership. Dr. Kagan presented on the linguistic makeup of the nation’s heritage speakers and highlighted comparisons at the NLSC, UCLA, and the Los Angeles area. The Census data, as pointed out by Dr. Kagan, indicates that approximately 57% of the Los Angeles County’s population speaks a language other than English at home. Dr. Kagan stated, “…the linguistic diversity of Los Angeles can serve as a national resource in education and in government programs such as the NLSC.”

Also addressing the attendees was William Castan, the NLSC Staff Program Director, who commented how the growth of NLSC Chapters is complementary to the NLSC’s mission. He expressed the importance of the members’ continued support to the mission given the recent milestone of the NLSC becoming a permanent government program in January 2013. Mr. Castan further remarked, “We couldn’t have done this without our Members. There are microcosms of language communities such as Asian-Pacific Islanders including Chinese Mandarin communities [in Los Angeles area] who may need the assistance of the NLSC in times of national need.” Many of the Members were elated by the opportunity to take part in the launch and await the opportunity to participate in future Chapter efforts.

About the National Language Service Corps:

The NLSC is a federal program sponsored by the Department of Defense through the Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO), under the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (OUSD) for Personnel and Readiness (P&R). Designed to support federal agencies in times of national need, the NLSC program provides and maintains a readily available civilian corps of over 4,500 on-call volunteers with languages determined to be important to the security and welfare of the United States. For more information, visit www.nlscorps.org.

PR/Media Contacts:

Department of Defense Public Affairs Press Desk at (703) 697-5131
General Dynamics Information Technology Public Relations at (703) 246-0528 NLSC News