A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Organization Connects Low-Income Community With Jobs

I recently visited the offices and training facilities of Houston’s SER-Jobs for Progress, guided by the executive director of SER, Nory Angel.  SER, which means “to be” in Spanish, was originally started in 1965 as a volunteer organization to help Hispanic veterans find jobs, but has since grown into a multifaceted organization which provides a variety of services to individuals living in low-income communities.

SER offers vocational job training to veterans, youth and adults in areas such as Green Core Construction, Weatherization and Retrofitting, Home Energy Rating Systems, and Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC).  They also offer career assessment and counseling, classes in business etiquette, help with resume preparation, and many other services to help individuals find and maintain employment. They help those without a high school degree get their GED certification, and they have a special program offering job training to low-income Senior Citizens over age 55 which trains them for clerical, custodial, food service, customer service and other jobs.

One remarkable service provided by SER is their employment placement through their workforce development partnerships.  They work with employers who hire trained individuals who have completed classes at SER.  The employers know that they are getting new employees who have had hands-on vocational training, background checks, preliminary interviews and any other customized screening the employer requests.

SER now has national affiliates operating in over 200 cities.  SER is funded by several sources including grants from the Department of Labor, the United Way, and corporate and private donations.  If you are interested in donating to SER of the Texas Gulf Coast or for more information on how you can help this organization, contact Nory Angel at 713-773-6000, extn 117 or nory.angel@serhouston.org.

Upcoming posts on Construction Citizen will feature video interviews with SER executive director Nory Angel, with a vocational training instructor in the organization, and with some of the students who were taking the weatherization class at the time.

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