SER Central States promotes economic self-sufficiency and upward mobility for low-income community residents through education and employment.
SER Central States was established more than two decades ago to provide employment-related services to people residing in the greater Chicago area. SER is the Spanish verb “to be,” and also reflects the means by which our mission is accomplished — Service, Employment, and Redevelopment.
We have grown exponentially in the past decade, and we're excited about what's in store for SER Central States in the future. Here are some of our long-term goals for the next few years and beyond.
SER-Jobs for Progress of Cook County (the predecessor of Central States SER-Jobs for Progress) was founded in 1970 by a group led by Al Galvan, a World War II veteran who wanted to expand career opportunities for the Hispanic community in Chicago. Part of the nationwide SER-Jobs for Progress organization began as part of the national SER-Jobs for Progress organization (SER National).
In 1987, SER of Cook County was reorganized as Central States SER-Jobs for Progress (SER), in a management and financial agreement with SER Metro Detroit. The partnership helped create economies of scale and enhanced fiscal efficiency and oversight. Over the next 15 years, SER Central States continued to build programs throughout Chicago, but maintained a relatively small presence in a competitive environment.
1970: SER-Jobs for Progress of Cook County founded
1987: Central States SER-Jobs for Progress incorporated; management agreement with SER Metro Detroit
2002: Operating budget of $845,000; 15 SER Employees
2005: Began management of Garfield Workforce Center
2007: Began management of Cicero Workforce Center
2009: Operating budget of $9 Million; 115 SER Employees
2010: Expanded offices completed at Little Village headquarters. Operating budget of $9.8Million.
Mr. Agoberto Benavides, Allstate Insurance Co.
Mr. Al Galvan, Founder of SER/AGIF Commander
Mr. Cesar Gonzalez, Northern Trust
Dr. Pamela Roper, Access Community Health
Ms. Kimberly Green, Diageo
Mr. Raymond Lozano, New Detroit
Mr. Steve Honorowski, Pepsico
Mr. Eduardo Rojas, Fifth Third Bank
Mr. Mike Schuette, Chase
Mr. Frank J. Kross, Chairman PFS Financial, LLC
Mr. Frank Casillas, Secretary SER National
Ms. Laura Selby, Treasurer Hispanic Housing Development Corp.
“I work with SER because they’re truly changing lives. The SER team understands what their customers need and sticks with them to make sure they succeed.”
-Chairman of the Board Frank Kross
Eva Garza Dewaelsche, President
Manuela M. Zarate, Vice-President of Midwest Operations
Manuel Vega, Chief Financial Officer
Guadalupe Preston, Executive Director
Regional Director | Leigh Diffay firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Education and Youth Programs | Jamie Roth email@example.com
Director of Development |Michelle Rafferty firstname.lastname@example.org
CBS News visited SER's office at the Garfield Workforce Center! Click on the link below for the news story.