SER National Observes Juneteenth 2024

SER National Observes Juneteenth 2024

SER National joins the nation in commemorating Juneteenth, a pivotal moment in our history that marked a new beginning for countless individuals. On this date in 1865, Union Army General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce the freedom of more than a quarter-million enslaved people. This proclamation came two and a half years after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous day was celebrated with jubilant expressions of culture, faith, and community – the very essence of the Juneteenth observances we witness today.

“On Juneteenth, SER National and the SER Network of Affiliates proudly celebrate the diversity of our nation’s workforce,” says Ignacio Salazar, President and CEO. “Also, we acknowledge the individual skills, talents, experiences, and perspectives that we share when we can come together in whatever industry we choose. Yet, we can continue to have our identity and uniqueness as individuals. Yes, America may be a melting pot in many ways because unity of purpose strengthens us. However, having our personal daily preferences in food, music, clothing, and so many other aspects of our lives is also a freedom we enjoy in this country,” he adds.

As Juneteenth festivities expanded beyond Texas, they symbolized resilience and cultural pride and reminded of the ongoing pursuit of racial justice and equality. The designation of Juneteenth as a federal holiday in 2021 was a significant acknowledgment of our nation’s journey and the work that remains.

Despite progress, disparities persist in the American workforce. Research by McKinsey & Company shows that Black employees face systemic challenges, including higher unemployment rates and wage gaps, particularly in transportation, healthcare, retail, and service industries. These findings underscore the importance of Juneteenth’s message in the modern workplace: the call for a society where every individual can thrive in their chosen field without prejudice.

Salazar further emphasizes the broader implications of Juneteenth: “Another important truth of Juneteenth is that we are blessed with another opportunity to reflect upon the promise of America and ask ourselves what else can I do to make sure that every person is included in the fulfillment of that dream. Our workplace every day gives us each a new chance to interact with each other respectfully and with genuine appreciation, making it a safe and welcoming space for all. May Juneteenth 2024 be another step forward toward achieving that goal.”

As we observe Juneteenth, let us honor the past while actively shaping a future where the workplace is a bastion of inclusivity, respect, and equal opportunity for all.

SER National Celebrates Pride Month 2024: Because We Are All America!

SER National Celebrates Pride Month 2024: Because We Are All America!

SER National and the SER Network of Affiliates proudly support Pride Month, celebrated annually in June. The month is filled with colorful parades, festivals, and events that promote inclusivity and celebrate the diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities.

“Pride month is a vibrant and joyous recognition of the LGBTQ+ community and their significant contributions to the nation’s economic strength and our society’s fabric,” says Ignacio Salazar, President and CEO. “It is a time to honor their resilience and to advocate for equality, acceptance, and human rights, especially in our workforce, where we can each make meaningful contributions,” he adds.

One of the best ways to participate in Pride Month is to attend events and encourage conversations in a spirit of learning and appreciation for everyone. These gatherings show solidarity and are an opportunity to be immersed in a supportive and inclusive atmosphere. Americans can celebrate diversity and focus on the positive ways to share in our country’s promise for all.

“Educating ourselves is another important aspect of Pride Month,” says Salazar. “SER National respects the important history and ongoing struggles of the LGBTQ+ community among the more than one million people we serve yearly and in our SER family of team members. We can each foster greater understanding and empathy to help promote safer and more inclusive workplaces. This atmosphere generates more cohesive and productive teams working in harmony,” adds Salazar.

Supporting LGBTQ+ organizations and advocacy are two other meaningful ways to contribute. Donations to organizations that champion equality and provide vital support can make a significant impact. Volunteering our time or skills can also uplift and empower LGBTQ+ individuals. Being an advocate means standing up for what is right in our community and beyond.

“At SER National and the SER Network of Affiliates, we are dedicated to being strong supporters of ALL values of respect and affirmation of all individuals,” says Salazar. “Our programs and services across America and Puerto Rico are extended to people of all identities and within our staff at all levels. This commitment reflects the importance of embracing diversity and fostering a genuinely inclusive environment where everyone can thrive,” he adds.

May we celebrate Pride Month through uplifting messages on social media, amplifying stories, and being beacons of love and respect related to rights and acceptance. Let us help make our country an example for the world as a land of inclusivity founded on the principles that every individual has the God-given right to exist and realize their full potential in safety, peace, and happiness. Happy Pride Month 2024!

SER National Honors Memorial Day: Remembering the Ultimate Sacrifice of Our Soldiers and Inspiring Daily Acts of Tribute

SER National Honors Memorial Day: Remembering the Ultimate Sacrifice of Our Soldiers and Inspiring Daily Acts of Tribute

SER National and the SER Network of Affiliates proudly pause on this Memorial Day to remind all Americans of the profound and enduring sacrifices made by the valiant defenders of our democracy. These brave souls gave their lives to protect the freedoms we cherish in the United States of America. Today, we honor their memory, acknowledging that our liberty was secured at the highest cost—each life lost was a courageous warrior.

“For them, their rest now is eternal, and for us, our duty is to honor their legacy by engaging in positive actions that build up our nation,” says President and CEO Ignacio Salazar. “Through our unity in meaningful and honorable endeavors daily, we can embody the collective spirit of the America they fought and died for,” he adds.

Originally known as Decoration Day, this observance began in 1868 to honor fallen Union soldiers from the Civil War. On that day, Americans placed flowers at the graves of their military loved ones who died in combat. Over time, cities across the United States began to honor their war dead annually, and in 1968, the observance was officially renamed Memorial Day. Congress declared it a federal holiday in 1971. The tradition of red poppies on Memorial Day serves as a poignant reminder of the flowers that grew amidst the desolation of battlefields.

The sacrifice of all American military service members lost in combat has ensured that our nation remains a land of opportunity and freedom. SER National and the SER Network of Affiliates are dedicated to helping more than one million program participants harness their talents yearly, pursue education and training, and succeed in their careers. In doing so, we honor the legacy of those who gave their lives by perpetuating the American dream they died to protect.

This Memorial Day, as we visit the sacred resting places of our fallen heroes adorned with flowers and flags, let us remember that they were someone’s child, sibling, parent, or friend. Let us elevate our spirits in reflection, recognizing that there was no greater love for our service members than their devotion to God, Country, and Family. Let this day be a testament to our gratitude and a promise that we will never forget their courage and sacrifice. So too, may our actions at work for and with others be our constant tribute.

“Memorial Day’s true honor is in remembering our brave warriors. Some we know by name, as they were our loved ones and friends. For all, we offer a silent prayer of gratitude, knowing that in our daily endeavors, we carry forward what they could not. In this way, our lives are forever intertwined,” says Salazar.

Let us commemorate this Memorial Day with a renewed commitment to the values our fallen heroes defended, ensuring their sacrifice continues to inspire our actions and dedication to a better America.

SER National Observes Cinco de Mayo 2024, Celebrating Hispanics’ Exponential Growth and Positive Impact on America’s Economy

SER National Observes Cinco de Mayo 2024, Celebrating Hispanics’ Exponential Growth and Positive Impact on America’s Economy

As the nation commemorates the historic Battle of Puebla on Cinco de Mayo, SER Jobs for Progress National, Inc. (SER National) reflects on the strength of the Hispanic community and its significant contributions to the workforce and economy of the United States. This year’s celebration marks not only a pivotal moment in Mexican history but also serves as a reminder of the increasing presence and labor power that characterize Hispanic and Latino American workers.

“Latinos in the United States are poised to meet our country’s workforce needs now and in the future as the fastest growing and largest demographic of younger men and women,” says Ignacio Salazar, President & CEO. “Our nation’s educational pipeline, training, and skills development capacity is being challenged to keep pace with this historical growth. This is why the SER Network of Affiliates works daily in anticipation of this continued exponential demand. Together, we can ensure that the sheer number of Latinos in labor translates into economic advancement and opportunities for generations to come,” adds Salazar.

Latinos in the United States constitute a vital workforce component, representing approximately 20% of the population and workforce. With a median age of 38.5 years on the job, Hispanic workers are younger than their non-Hispanic counterparts, making significant contributions to the labor force.

“We continue to meet the workforce needs of our country in many areas, including the building trades, service industries, and manufacturing,” states Salazar. “However, we are also emerging as a vital force in technological areas, including software sciences, the latest healthcare jobs, and AI-driven sectors. SER National is aligning vital stakeholders across the United States and Puerto Rico because we see the challenges and opportunities and are committed to being ready for both,” adds Salazar.

The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2040, more than one in four Americans will be Hispanic, highlighting the growing influence of this community. According to the U.S. Latino GDP Report, if Latinos living in the United States were an independent country, their GDP would rank fifth in the world at $3.2 trillion, underscoring their significant economic impact.

Despite their contributions, disparities in pay and job opportunities persist for Hispanic and Latino workers. Initiatives aimed at providing better outcomes, including education and retraining programs that prepare and transition workers to new high-wage, high-demand employment, are crucial to addressing these disparities and ensuring sustainable incomes for Latino families.

“As a nation, we are stronger in unity of purpose and in the shared vision that our country’s history is inextricably linked to the integration of immigrants into the fabric of America,” emphasized Salazar. “Together, we can ensure that the sheer number of Latinos in labor translates into economic advancement and opportunities for future generations.”

As SER National observes Cinco de Mayo 2024, it reaffirms its commitment to empowering Hispanic and Latino communities through education, training, and economic development initiatives. By breaking down barriers to workforce success, we pave the way for a more inclusive and prosperous future.

SER National Proudly Celebrates International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month 2024

SER National Proudly Celebrates International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month 2024

SER National joins the global community in celebrating International Women’s Day and Women’s Month 2024, embracing this year’s theme of Inspire Inclusion. As an organization dedicated to service, employment, and redevelopment, we recognize the pivotal role of women in shaping our society and economy. Guided by our mission to empower individuals and communities, we proudly honor the invaluable contributions of women across the nation.

“On behalf of SER National and the SER Network of Affiliates, we are moved by this year’s compelling theme of inspiring inclusiveness in our world,” says Ignacio Salazar, President and CEO. “Women are the backbone of our vast Familia de SER’s agencies, programs, and initiatives. Every day, they help lead, innovate, and motivate all of us to excellence. Nearly half our nation’s workforce, or 75 million, are women, and they own and operate more than 10 million businesses, accounting for almost $1.5 trillion in annual receipts. Yet, women account for only 1-in-4 c-suite positions and 1-in-16 for women of color. So yes, we can and must be more inclusive to tap into the limitless talent women bring,” adds Salazar.

The International Women’s Day 2024 campaign theme, Inspire Inclusion, resonates deeply with our commitment to diversity and empowerment. We foster a better world when we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion. By championing inclusion, we break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create environments where all women are valued and respected.

At SER National, we believe that education and awareness are essential in fostering inclusion and empowering women in our country’s workforce training, social support programs, and diverse work sites. We create opportunities for women to thrive through mentorship, educational workshops, and specialized development programs. We empower women to overcome obstacles and achieve their full potential by providing guidance and resources.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s Month 2024, let us collectively commit to inspiring inclusion in all aspects of our lives. Together, we can forge a more inclusive world where women are valued, respected, and empowered to reach their highest aspirations.

“Inspiring inclusiveness is to aspire to greatness,” says Salazar. “A recent survey by Glassdoor found that 75% of applicants want to be part of an organization that champions inclusiveness, and 62% of people in the workforce see inclusiveness as a major driver of successful organizations. So may we inspire inclusiveness through our actions and uplift women’s vital contributions in our work and lives,” says Salazar.

SER National Observes Presidents Day as a Celebration of Leadership

SER National Observes Presidents Day as a Celebration of Leadership

As the nation commemorates Presidents Day on the third Monday of February, SER National joins the celebration, recognizing it as a tribute to our highest elected leaders’ leadership, sacrifice, and service. This federal holiday, officially named Washington’s Birthday, holds a special place in our hearts as it pays homage to the first President of the United States, George Washington, and all who have kept the esteemed office.

Presidents Day, often regarded as a day to honor the nation’s chief executives, reminds us of the courage and commitment demonstrated by our leaders. Ignacio Salazar, President and CEO of SER National, reflects on the significance of this day, stating, “SER National celebrates the meaning of Presidents Day as a moment when we pay tribute to the courage of our nation’s highest elected leaders. Moreover, we are reminded of the true meaning of this role, which is to exemplify leadership through service and sacrifice for the greater good of others. This quality extends to each of us where we work and find our purpose daily.”

Governments, schools, museums, and historical sites throughout the United States observe Presidents Day with various events and activities. Parades, educational programs, historical reenactments, and exhibitions foster a connection between residents and the rich heritage of our country. In Washington, D.C., a wreath-laying ceremony at the Washington Monument adds a poignant touch to the day’s historical significance.

George Washington’s legacy, marked by his universal respect and selfless act of relinquishing power after two terms, set a precedent for his successors. His leadership during the drafting of the U.S. Constitution and his choice to return to private life at Mount Vernon underscored the principles of service and sacrifice.

Abraham Lincoln, born on February 12, 1809, faced and navigated the nation through a profound constitutional, military, and moral crisis during the American Civil War. His Emancipation Proclamation played a pivotal role in transforming the war’s aims from a conflict over states’ rights to a battle for the destruction of slavery. Lincoln’s unwavering commitment to ending slavery culminated in the support for the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, adopted in December 1865. His tragic assassination on April 9, 1865, marked the end of a transformative era in American history.

“SER National believes strongly in the traits required for effective leadership in the workplace,” says Salazar. “Also, those who are asked to undertake the task of leadership throughout the SER Network of Affiliates display several important traits in service to their organization or program. This includes the ability to direct with compassion and humility, share a vision, and inspire those entrusted to them to accomplish their best with dignity and respect. A successful leader requires creating motivation, which comes when a person communicates effectively and fosters a collaborative environment. May this Presidents Day remind us that the strength of truly effective leaders comes from empowering those around them and providing an example that others look up to and wish to support wholeheartedly. As we celebrate Presidents Day, let us reflect on the enduring principles of leadership, service, and sacrifice that have shaped our nation’s history and continue to inspire us today,” he concludes.