An agreement among small Hispanic companies, big corporations, a non-profit and a local university has resulted in the creation of a "culturally appropriate" leadership program for Hispanic professionals in the Rocky Mountains.

Cheryl Lucero, executive director of the Hispanic Chamber Education Foundation, said that the Hispanic Leadership Development Program in the coming months will train up to 25 Latinos who currently hold mid-level posts so that they can move forward in their careers.

"This program provides the Hispanic business community a way to further develop their leadership skills and potential all while keeping it culturally relevant," Lucero told Efe.

The project is the result of a joint study by her organization and Denver's Metropolitan State College, which resulted in the detection of the lack of local leadership or training courses within the framework of the Hispanic culture and designed for Latino professionals.

The course will be offered between February and July 2012 and will include issues such as identity, culture, policy, administration, as well as leadership styles, purposes and rules.

Sessions, set for once a month at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, will be conducted by MSC professors and community leaders.

Lucero said that the offering of this course will allow the identification of local Latino businesspeople who want to advance in their careers and improve their abilities as leaders, whether it be in the public or private sector.

The program includes training on understanding the cultural differences with regard to leadership and it will allow participants to overcome the obstacles that traditionally hinder Latinos from receiving promotions.

Therefore, a large portion of the sessions will focus on a dialogue between participants and veteran Latino leaders on both the business and civic levels, Lucero said.

To guarantee that on completing the course the participants will have opportunities for career advancement in their respective jobs, their employers will have to fill out a form committing themselves to offering such opportunities.

In addition, priority will be given to those participants who contribute diversity to their workplaces or industries as a result of their age, sex, ethnicity of life experiences.

The program has the financial backing of corporations like MillerCoors, United Healthcare, PCL Construction and State Farm, which also will provide funds for partial scholarships that some participants will be able to receive.

"There existed a gap that we're now filling. We're offering a great opportunity," Lucero said.