A lot has changed since 1964. Arnold Palmer no longer dominates golf. The Beatles will never again have 13 hit records at once. A gallon of gas doesn’t cost 30 cents anymore. And these days, families never gather around the black and white television to watch Sing Along With Mitch.
But there’s one thing that has stood the test of time since 1964, that’s SER National.
Originally called Operation SER, SER-Jobs for Progress National, Inc. started in 1964 as a partnership between the American GI Forum, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Department of the Navy and the U.S. Department of Labor.President Lyndon B. Johnson thought Operation SER was such a great idea that he included the program in his landmark War on Poverty legislation, and SER opened its first center in Houston, Texas in 1965.
Since its founding almost 50 years ago, SER National has fulfilled its promise of transforming lives and communities through education, employment and empowerment. Through its extensive network of world-class grassroots affiliates, SER has grown to serve over one million people each year, positively impacting the lives of pre-school children, youth, high school dropouts, dislocated or otherwise unemployed workers, and seniors.
Advancing equal opportunity for all segments of American society, that’s what SER has stood for from Day One. Watch our history unfold by clicking through the timeline.
It takes a strong, passionate leadership team to guide an organization as multi-faceted and vital as SER National. From our extraordinary President and CEO to the remarkable group of professionals on our Board of Directors, we have assembled a dedicated dream team that not only believes wholeheartedly in our mission, but also has the expertise, commitment and integrity it takes to accomplish it.
President & CEO Ignacio Salazar
Ignacio Salazar has dedicated his life to education and workforce development. Since launching his career with SER in 1975, Salazar has become one of the country’s most notable leaders in the private nonprofit sector. His valuable contributions to the Hispanic community and his tireless efforts in workforce investment have been recognized by scores of groups and organizations from coast to coast.
Board of Directors The outstanding people who make up our board of directors may come from many different facets of society – corporations, community-based organizations, governmental entities, academia, etc., but they all have one thing in common: their dedication to empowering people through education, training and employment. Our board provides essential oversight and focused direction to ensure that SER National is fulfilling its mission in the most effective, efficient way possible.
SER (Service, Employment, and Redevelopment) is a national network of Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) that formulates and advocates initiatives resulting in the increased development and utilization of America’s human resources, with special emphasis on the needs of Hispanics, in the areas of education, training, employment, business and economic opportunity.
SER National aims to develop the capacity of the SER network through the provision of technical assistance, research and planning, program and policy development, and fundraising.
“To enable the Hispanic community and other underserved populations, to fully participate in the socio-economic mainstream, achieving equal access and parity in all aspects of American society.”
VALUES: OUR PILLARS OF EXCELLENCE
We value People
We listen to and learn from one another to make improvements in our services by respecting uniqueness, valuing diversity, and encouraging participation. We recognize every stakeholder as a whole person to be treated fairly and equitably.
We drive Performance
We embrace the pursuit of excellence. We work with our affiliates, partners, and customers to encourage success. We always strive to improve by fostering great expectations gauged by measurable standards for high quality that is timely, responsive, and innovative.
We create quality Products
Our products exemplify the great pride of the individuals who produce them. Responding to the needs of the marketplace, we think ahead and anticipate changing needs, and we are prepared and responsive to the demands of those challenges. Our partners know us as thought leaders and as a source of performance benchmarks.
We are stronger through Partnerships
We respect and adapt our services so that the greatest achievements can be made by affirming the local community and culture. We build strong partnerships to go deep and wide with the expertise and talent of the many friends of SER.
We believe in Potential
Our dedication makes things happen. We try all options and access all resources in exploring possibilities. By being proactive, we are a nemesis to scarcity and pessimism.
Our work is a Privilege
We are an agent of resources. With such stewardship comes the responsibility of being compassionate and empathetic to the people we serve. We are generous with our listening, time, resources, and spirit.
We honor the Public Trust
Our funding comes from the public trust of our government, corporations, and individuals who believe we can deliver results. Our actions of honesty and integrity prove them right each and every day. Transparency strengthens the ethical practice of our organization.
We Are Investors
Across the United States and Puerto Rico, SER National is investing in hundreds of underserved communities by carrying out unique workforce development initiatives that improve the quality of life for the people who live there. Whether it’s through one-on-one job coaching, employment services targeting senior workers, or training for rewarding jobs in healthcare and green construction, SER is paving the way to equal access and upward career mobility for the people who need it most.
We Are Supporters
SER National supports education and training for all children, youth and adults, because education opens the doors of opportunity for economic self-sufficiency and upward mobility. SER helps young people achieve academic success by providing high quality, culturally competent and inspiring learning opportunities through charter schools, alternative schools, and out-of-school tutoring programs. And SER supports adult learning too, ensuring that everyone has the basic literacy, math and English skills to be successful in the workplace.
We Are Builders
One of SER National’s principle goals is to empower members of the Latino and other underserved communities by strengthening their individual capabilities. Economic, social, educational, and political empowerment are critical to achieving self-sufficiency. Through a variety of programs and services, SER provides individuals with the necessary tools to become fully empowered. We believe empowerment is an essential characteristic that all persons must possess because these individuals are not just more productive and contributing members of society; they are also more confident of their own abilities.