6 Trade Groups Diligently Promoting Private Industry

Starting your own business or beginning a career in a new industry can be an exciting, albeit stressful, endeavor. One way to increase your chances of success is to align with other like-minded individuals and organizations. Following a strength-in-numbers philosophy, trade groups provide their members with educational opportunities, business development, and a voice in government and legislation. If you're curious about this topic, then here, in no particular order, is a selection of trade associations active in the private sector.

Coming in at #1 is the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association. Based in Washington, DC and representing manufacturing companies and raw material suppliers across North America, this trade association focuses on the latest trends, news, and innovations in asphalt roofing. A progressive group, ARMA is committed to the industry's long-term sustainability, and it works to support and advocate for its members' interests.

This association gathers information on roofing materials and practices from its members, facilitating exchanges with building and code officials, regulatory agencies, and allied trade groups. Elsewhere, ARMA has published useful guides for homeowners and professionals alike. It also produces educational materials related to asphalt roofing, like videos that explore proper ventilation and energy efficiency.

In the #2 spot is the National Club Association. Combining advocacy and education, NCA promotes and advances the interests of private, social, and recreational clubs. Located in Washington, DC, it brings together members, corporate partners, and industry service providers to form one unified organization.

NCA, which was founded in 1961, frequently lobbies on behalf of its members and the private club industry as a whole, both at the national and state level. Furthermore, this association provides members with a wealth of resources. Its Board Leadership Institute, for instance, distills the work of successful industry leaders into best practices for clubs. In addition, NCA releases publications geared specifically toward directors and business concerns.

At #3 is the American Gem Trade Association, which was established in 1981. With more than 1,200 members across the United States and Canada, AGTA supports the long-term stability and integrity of the natural colored gemstone and cultured pearl industries. To further its mission, this association develops and shares educational materials, hosts events, liaises between government and industry, and maintains high ethical standards, to which its members must adhere.

AGTA runs trade fairs, which bring together studios, artists, and other industry representatives and often feature a variety of seminars. In addition, it hosts the AGTA Spectrum Awards, a ceremony that recognizes top designs in categories such as evening wear, classical, and objects of art. Elsewhere, this association publishes Prism, a periodical that profiles members and interviews creatives.

Coming in at #4 is UKspace. For more than thirty years, this trade association has promoted the interests of the British space industry, working with the government, Parliament, and stakeholders from around the world. As a collaborative endeavor, it partners with numerous other groups, such as ADS, techUK, and the Satellite Applications Catapult.

A membership organization with a diverse composition, UKspace divides its work into multiple committees, which focus on areas including Earth observation, satellite telecommunications, and security and defense. It also develops resources and opportunities for people looking to break into the growing space sector.

In the #5 spot is the Semiconductor Industry Association. Founded in 1977, SIA serves as the voice of the American semiconductor industry, which creates critical components of electronic devices. The production of these integrated circuits and microchips is connected to a vast array of fields, from communications and computing to healthcare and transportation.

SIA collaborates with the government and other key stakeholders to strengthen the U.S. semiconductor industry. To this end, it homes in on several innovative and business-oriented policy initiatives, in areas such as trade, tax, environmental sustainability, and intellectual property. Additionally, this association collects and distributes market data, as well as other industry-relevant resources, like webinars and brochures.

Last but not least, at #6 is the American Society of Media Photographers, a trade association established in 1944. With more than 35 regional chapters, ASMP functions as a gathering space for visual content creators in the United States. A multi-faceted organization, it promotes the rights of photographers, educates in better business practices, develops informative publications, and connects its members to clients.

Specific benefits provided by the American Society of Media Photographers include legal and business primers, as well as access to industry events featuring experts in marketing, branding, and communications. It also connects members to discount partners, with offerings from well-known companies such as Apple and Paychex. On the advocacy front, ASMP participates in the Picture Licensing Universal System Coalition, which strives to simplify the management of image rights.