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Start 2018 with a new career! SER is Now Enrolling!

Posted December 21

Participate in a hands-on training and get help finding employment.  Complete the on-line application ... Read more...

Nory Angel, SER CEO, to leave organization in 2018

Posted December 11

On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff at SER-Jobs for Progress, Inc., we would like to share with you that Nory... Read more...

Capital campaign officially kicks off!

Posted September 21

SER publicly announced its Pathways to Potential capital campaign with a news conference held at the site of its new... Read more...

Terrance Groves

“If it wasn’t for SER, I would still be trying to figure out my life,” said Terrance. “SER helped me build up my skills and I found that employers wanted and needed someone like me. “Now I’m in a good place, and I believe in myself.”


Terrance Groves, 39, was raised by a single mother in a rough section of Houston’s South Park neighborhood, but tried to stay on the right path.

“It was easy to get into trouble and hard to get out of,” said Terrance.

Terrance praises his mother for doing a good job providing for him and his four siblings. She worked long hours, but Terrance also had support from both his maternal and paternal grandmothers. With their guidance and encouragement, Terrance graduated from Wortham High School in 1999, and then went straight to Houston Community College.

After completing his first semester at HCC, things began to fall apart. Both of Terrance’s grandmothers died within a year of each other.

“They were the ones that kept me level-headed, so when they passed, I really started to struggle,” said Terrance.
Also during this time, Terrance’s girlfriend gave birth to their son. Shortly thereafter, Terrance dropped out of college and started to look for work so he could provide for his family.

“I got a pretty good job a St. Joseph’s Hospital as an EEG Technician,” said Terrance.

The job didn’t last long as Terrance started getting into trouble for petty crimes. He was arrested a number of times and served time in the county jail.

In spite of his brushes with the law, Terrance was usually able to find employment.

“I got good jobs because of help from my family, but my immaturity led me to keep making bad decisions,” said Terrance.

None of the jobs lasted long, though. In 2010, after seeing a flyer at Workforce Solutions, Terrance came to SER for the training opportunities. He believed that industry trainings would help him find a career instead of simply another job.

He completed several SER training classes and earned certifications in NCCER (Core), HVAC, and the EPA Universal Certification.

“I was the top A/C Technician in my class,” said Terrance.

He was thrilled to receive his certifications and excited about the prospect of earning a decent wage. But as Terrance tried to find employment, his background constantly got in the way.

“I was getting depressed by the day, but I kept going back to SER,” said Terrance, “I [tried] to use all the resources they had.

“I had gained skills, but not confidence.”

Terrance continued to take advantage of SER’s many resources, including job fairs and referrals and supportive services. He would often meet with his SER career coach, Margarita Flores.

“Mrs. Flores went way beyond what I expected,” said Terrance, “We talked about life and she kept me in a good place…emotionally.”

Terrance eventually found a position in the HVAC industry, but it was a non-paying internship only working on Saturdays. He accepted the position in order to continue to learn as much as he could about the industry. After two months, the employer was so impressed with Terrance’s skill and work ethic, he not only offered him a paying position, but paid him for the two-month internship as an added bonus.

Terrance stayed in that position for a few years, and while there, he also learned to work on appliances. As Terrance’s skill set grew, so did his confidence.

"I have made a 360 degree change from where I was,” said Terrance. “When I first came to SER, I was in a dark time dealing with a broken relationship and job loss.”

In 2017, Terrance accepted a lucrative position with Conn’s as their Appliance Technician.

“Because of my training through SER, I now have a job where the [pay] and the benefits are great,” said Terrance.

Years after completing his classes, Terrance still comes by SER to say hello and thank the team for helping him get on track with a career and better opportunities to provide for his family.

“SER greatly impacted this young man and now he has a stable job that he loves,” said Margarita Flores, Terrance’s coach, who also now serves as SER’s Navigator. “The bottom line is people can become productive if given the chance, encouragement and care. Terrance was fortunate to get a real chance at a career and to have people helping him that did not give up on him.”

Terrance agrees.

“If it wasn’t for SER, I would still be trying to figure out my life,” said Terrance. “SER helped me build up my skills and I found that employers wanted and needed someone like me.

“Now I’m in a good place, and I believe in myself.”