SER National and the SER Network of Affiliates Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

SER National and the SER Network of Affiliates Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

As we embark on the vibrant journey of Hispanic Heritage Month, from September 15 to October 15, SER National and our esteemed Network of Affiliates proudly celebrate the rich tapestry of Hispanic culture, history, and achievements that have enriched the United States.
“The SER Network of Affiliates reflects the very best of why we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month,” says SER National President and CEO Ignacio Salazar. “They are the dedicated people who care for, house, nourish, and share knowledge with program participants in their communities. They are very worthy of our gratitude.”
The inception of Hispanic Heritage Month, timed to coincide with the week of September 15 and 16, is a poignant homage to the profound contributions of Hispanic Americans and the legacies of independence held dear by the Latin American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico. These historic milestones resonate with our mission at SER National and our Network of Affiliates, reflecting our shared dedication to nurturing thriving communities.
SER California stands as a beacon of hope and transformation among our stellar affiliates. SER California is steadfast in its commitment to providing individuals with the tools they need to become self-sustaining. It offers access to quality education, job training, career opportunities, and essential childcare services. Moreover, SER California is at the forefront of addressing the pressing need for affordable housing and other invaluable social services that benefit individuals and enrich their communities.
In the vibrant city of Atlanta, LaAmistad Inc. is a vital community agency that uplifts the Latino community. LaAmistad’s diverse array of programs meets families where they are, providing afterschool services that encompass homework help, remediation, enrichment, a vibrant summer academy, and workshops that foster parent partnerships. LaAmistad’s unwavering commitment to educational empowerment echoes the spirit of Hispanic Heritage Month by ensuring that Latino youth have the resources and support they need to succeed.
Further north, in Connecticut, Casa Otoñal embodies the essence of community and cultural preservation. Since 1976, Casa Otoñal has been dedicated to offering affordable, carefree living for adults aged 62 and over or persons with disabilities. Their mission is to create an environment where seniors can comfortably speak their language, savor culturally familiar meals, and partake in a setting that respects the community’s celebrations and beliefs. Casa Otoñal cherishes the intrinsic value of every individual, embodying the spirit of unity and inclusion that Hispanic Heritage Month symbolizes.
“May this month be a time to celebrate with pride and joy the many talents and skills SER Affiliates offer America, in more than 200 locations serving over 1,000,000 people annually, helping to make this a land of opportunity, blessings, and hope,” says Salazar. “Together, we stand united in recognizing the profound impact of Hispanic Americans and the enduring legacy of our shared heritage, fostering a nation where diversity is celebrated, opportunities abound, and hope flourishes.”

SER National Honors the Memory of 9-11 By Continuing The Work of Our Great Country

SER National Honors the Memory of 9-11 By Continuing The Work of Our Great Country

This September 11, 2023, is the 22nd anniversary since that fateful day when nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives in a deadly terrorist attack on the United States. In the years since then, observance activities have become fewer, some memories of that day have faded, and a new generation may even be unfamiliar with the significance of 9-11.

We at SER National and the SER Network of Affiliates believe every day is an opportunity to acknowledge the people who died in that horrible tragedy, even if we did not know them or their names. Each of us can honor these fallen Americans by faithfully carrying on our endeavors in service to others, much as those men and women from all backgrounds and walks of life did before their lives were suddenly cut short.

For example, in New York’s Bronx Borough, not far from where the World Trade Center Towers once stood before collapsing in the attack, SER Network of Affiliates partner, Neighborhood Association for Inter-Cultural Affairs (NAICA), continues to provide vital services daily to its predominantly Latino stakeholders as it has since 1974. Its mission is to provide a safety net of social services that enable the people NAICA reaches to become self-sufficient and have a better quality of life for themselves and their families.

Another SER affiliate in the nearby Brooklyn Borough is Southside United HDFC, Los Sures. This organization began with just a handful of volunteers in 1972 to reclaim, preserve, and rebuild the area known as the Southside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Over five decades later, Los Sures remains a loyal and enduring hope for generations of residents in one of our country’s iconic, increasingly diverse, and vibrant communities.

“My heart is filled with joy and overwhelmed by the dedication of all these men and women who pour their energy and souls into their mission for long hours every day,” says Ignacio Salazar, SER National President and CEO. “I cannot help but think and say without equivocation that out of the pain and sadness of 9-11 has arisen a renewed strength and resilience among the people of New York, and indeed America. No matter what, we can and will endure. The lesson for each of us is that no matter where we live and how little we think our talents or resources may allow us to contribute, our granito de arena, our tiny grains of sand, will multiply to form the shores of this great land.”

SER National and the SER Network of Affiliates stand with the families whose loved ones perished on 9-11. We join together and say, America will never forget, and we shall always respect and honor their sacrifice through our selfless service to others. May they rest in peace and power.

SER National Celebrates America’s Workers in All Fields and of All Ages

SER National Celebrates America’s Workers in All Fields and of All Ages

This Labor Day is a time to honor workers’ contributions nationwide. SER National stands as a proud advocate for championing those men and women whose daily contributions often go unnoticed because we do not see them or they work in the background. Yet what they do is invaluable and deserves our praise.

For example, the National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP), also known as the Farmworker’s Program. This program provides services for migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their dependents. SER assists farmworkers and their dependents in acquiring the necessary skills to stabilize or advance their agricultural jobs or obtain employment in new industries. In addition, SER ensures farmworkers have equitable access to career services, skill development, and workforce protections offered by American Job Centers to improve their living and working conditions.

“We congratulate all of our nation’s workers in every walk of life because together, you are the backbone and strength of our country,” says Ignacio Salazar, SER National President and CEO. “Especially significant are the contributions of those men and women who toil in our farm fields to nourish America. We are proud to include serving them through our NFJP, uplifting entire families, and changing lives for generations.”

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is another noteworthy success, a community service and work-based job training program for older Americans. Participants must be at least 55, unemployed, and meet income criteria. Authorized by the Older Americans Act, the program provides training for low-income, unemployed seniors. SCSEP participants gain work experience in various community service activities at non-profit and public facilities, including schools, hospitals, day-care centers, and senior centers. The program provides over 40 million community service hours, allowing them to enhance and provide needed services.

“Seniors have so much to offer our society, and SCSEP brings them together with outstanding local agencies and organizations that benefit also,” says Salazar. “Time and again, the lasting friendships and bonds the programs foster strengthen our neighborhoods and give purpose to countless lives.”

As we observe Labor Day, let us pay homage to the dedication and hard work of individuals who drive our nation’s progress. SER National and the SER Network of Affiliates thank the more than one million program participants we serve annually and congratulate your spirit and will to work. Together, we are achieving greater heights every day.

SER National SER Says to Celebrate America’s Can-Do Spirit This July 4th

SER National SER Says to Celebrate America’s Can-Do Spirit This July 4th

As we observe July 4th, the day when Americans gather to celebrate the birth of our great nation, it is essential to reflect on the origin and history of this significant holiday. On July 4th, 1776, the thirteen American colonies declared independence from British rule, igniting a revolutionary movement that would shape history. Since then, the Fourth of July has symbolized freedom, unity, and the relentless pursuit of opportunity.

Ignacio Salazar, SER National’s President and Chief Executive Officer, expresses his awe at the indomitable spirit that defines America. He notes, “America is still the greatest land of opportunity and prosperity because of our can-do spirit to make the most out of every opportunity, even if it comes unexpectedly and, in a way, we never thought would happen.” This unwavering determination has propelled the United States to unparalleled heights, making it a beacon of hope and opportunity for people worldwide.

For most people in the United States, the Fourth of July holds a special place in their hearts. It is a day of remembrance, paying homage to the brave men and women who fought for independence and an occasion to recognize the values upon which this country was built. Freedom, equality, and the pursuit of happiness are the pillars defining America; today, citizens come together to honor these principles.

Salazar further emphasizes America’s pioneering spirit: “The USA continues to be the nation that envisions not just the ‘what’ of a new product, service, or program; but how to make it better and why this improvement matters.” From engineering and manufacturing to science, medicine, and countless other fields, Americans lead the charge in training, workforce development, and adapting to the evolving needs of society and the country. The can-do spirit is alive in every sector, driving progress and innovation.

In the face of these challenges, employers are stepping up to ensure their workforce’s continued growth and development. They recognize that the future lies in investing in their employees’ skills and talents. Companies are becoming more creative, offering increased training and skills development opportunities on the job, fostering a culture of constant improvement and adaptability.

As SER National and the SER Network of Affiliates proudly celebrate America’s birthday this July 4th, we eagerly anticipate the future. We embrace the endless possibilities of job opportunities in the newest and latest areas of sustainability, artificial intelligence, and even the exploration of our universe, from nanotechnologies to space itself. SER National and the SER Network of Affiliates are prepared for the journey, supported by a dedicated staff, program participants, board members, and stakeholders who share a resounding message: “Happy July 4th! We Got This!”

On this momentous day, let us remember the sacrifices of those who came before us and honor the can-do spirit that has defined America. Together, we can overcome challenges, adapt to circumstances, and build a brighter future for all. Happy Fourth of July!

SER National Joins in Celebrating Juneteenth and The Promise of Freedom for All

SER National Joins in Celebrating Juneteenth and The Promise of Freedom for All

June 19 marks a significant day in American history – Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day. On this day in 1865, the enslaved African Americans of Galveston, Texas, received the news of their freedom from Union army troops. It was a momentous occasion as they learned that slavery had been abolished by law. However, it had officially ended two and a half years earlier with President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. The people of Galveston, filled with joy and hope, immediately embraced this newfound freedom. Just one year later, they began to commemorate it as a day of celebration, even if it arrived after the rest of the nation.

“Their emancipation, though delayed, opened the opportunity to begin a journey toward a better economic future for themselves and their future generations,” said Ignacio Salazar, President & CEO of SER Jobs for Progress National (SER National). “Freedom’s transformative power for those once enslaved gave them hope, resilience, and resolve to achieve their dreams. At SER National and the SER Network of Affiliates, this day serves as a reminder of the determination to help uplift individuals who experienced significant challenges but refuse to let those dampen their spirits or hinder their progress. Their unwavering resolve to improve their lives inspires us all,” says Salazar.

It took another 156 years for Juneteenth to become an official federal holiday, with President Joe Biden signing the law on June 17, 2021. Yet, the progress toward equitable economic opportunities continues to this day. For over six decades, SER National and the SER Network of Affiliates have been dedicated to assisting more than a million people annually in achieving their economic freedom through workforce development programs. These initiatives empower participants to uplift themselves, set new goals for their futures, and overcome the barriers that may have hindered them from reaching their full potential.

“Our mission at SER National is to empower people to overcome the challenges that have kept them from attaining their full potential,” says Salazar. “We strive to open a path so every participant can acquire the necessary skills training, personal and work-related development, and benefit from our broad support structure. The greatest reward is to see individuals grow and do whatever it takes to learn a new trade or profession. Yet, the data reflects the need for continued efforts to achieve prosperity and equality as a nation,” he adds.

Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, is a momentous occasion that unites us in celebrating our country’s journey toward fulfilling the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all. It is a time when we come together to honor the resilience of those who fought for freedom, acknowledge our progress, and recommit ourselves to the ongoing work of achieving equality and economic empowerment for every individual.

As we commemorate Juneteenth, La Familia de SER joins with our communities, partners, and stakeholders in recognizing the importance of this day. Together, we can build a brighter and more equitable future where all individuals have the opportunity to thrive and contribute to the prosperity of our nation.

La Familia de SER Celebrates Pride Month

La Familia de SER Celebrates Pride Month

SER Jobs for Progress National, Inc. (SER National) proudly joins the nation in recognizing and celebrating June as National Pride Month. Throughout history, their members have played an integral role in shaping America in all walks of life. We must acknowledge and appreciate their remarkable contributions.

“Our country is stronger, more vibrant economically, and a better society because we celebrate who we are, individually and collectively,” says SER National President & CEO Ignacio Salazar. “At SER National and throughout the SER Network of Affiliates (La Familia de SER), we value their skills, talents, and experiences. Our commitment to inclusivity is unwavering as we strive to do more to ensure their inclusion and make them feel welcome in all aspects of society. They are an important component to the power of our people.”

Pride Month traces its roots back to the historic Stonewall Riots, which took place over six days starting on June 28, 1969, in Greenwich Village, New York. Led by trailblazers like Marsha P. Johnson, a black, trans, bisexual woman, and Brenda Howard, known as the ‘Mother of Pride.’ The community fought for their rights and demanded a safe space to gather and build a supportive community. Their activism and resilience ignited a movement that continues to inspire us today.

We also recognize the pivotal role of past U.S. presidents in supporting their rights and officially recognizing Pride Month. President Bill Clinton first acknowledged Pride Month in 1999, and President Barack Obama declared June as Pride Month throughout his presidency from 2009. In 2019, President Donald Trump tweeted about launching a campaign to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide.

Every American has a role to play in celebrating Pride Month. Community festivals, parades, and special events are held nationwide to inform, raise awareness, and foster support for America’s vital progress toward inclusivity, respect, and dignity for all individuals.

“Pride Month is also about speaking out against hate and intolerance,” adds Salazar. “Our country’s future workforce must reflect the diversity and strength of our entire society. As Harvey Milk envisioned when he designed the iconic rainbow flag, our nation thrives when everyone can add their unique identity, contributing to a beautiful unfurling of our full potential. Let us embrace the optimism and excitement for our future as a nation celebrating the diversity that defines us.”

SER National promotes equality, respect, and inclusivity for all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Together, we can continue to build a society that values diversity and creates opportunities for everyone to thrive.