About Us

Central States SER, Jobs for Progress Inc., (SER) is a vibrant non-profit organization dedicated to designing and delivering services to improve the quality of people’s lives and advance economic stability and growth among youth, adults and businesses in communities across Illinois. Established in 1987, SER has enhanced the lives of over 12,000 people annually who walk through the doors of SER seeking assistance through education, training and employment.

SER is part of the Unified SER Family, a multi-state organization led by parent organization SER Metro Detroit, with sites in Texas, Michigan and Pennsylvania. This collective of organizations is ably led by a dynamic group of leaders, whose CEO & President,Eva Garza Dewaelsche, was recognized as a Champion of Change by President Obama for her leadership and the impact of the work done accomplished by the collective sites of the Unified SER Family.

"SER's accomplishments have been impressive, which can be seen in the work they do to help the Hispanic community in the Chicagoland area. They have empowered our future by providing our youth and young adults with on-the-job training and experience that will help them follow a professional career path."

- Blanca Vargas, LULAC IL Deputy State Director for Young Adults


SER’s mission is to promote economic self-sufficiency and upward mobility for low-income community residents through education and employment.


SER believes in the core values of respect, integrity, competency and innovation. SER is deeply ingrained in the communities it serves and believes in being part of the solution to the on-going challenges of economic and educational disparity facing families today. SER makes it a priority to meet the needs of the community by staying abreast of community and employment demands and changes in the population and in the local and broader economy.

Clelia Gomez

Co-Director for Central States SER/SERCO

Ms. Clelia oversees the American Job Center in North Riverside. Ms. Gomez has over 16 years of tenure working at SER/SERCO and even more in Workforce Development programs overseeing the Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth Services. She is a bilingual professional holding a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling with extensive experience in a mental health clinic and workforce development settings. Her demonstrated knowledge of youth programming, staff management, monitoring, and evaluation practices is only surpassed by her drive and commitment to making communities a better place to live and work.

Hugo Avila

Co-Director for Central States SER/SERCO

Mr. Hugo Avila has over 12 years of experience in Workforce Development programs with SER, explicitly working with Chicagoland low-income and underserved communities. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Visual Design from the International Academy of Design and Technology and is certified by the National Board of Workforce Professionals. Previously, he was the Manager of Adult Programs and Coordinator of Business Services in Illinois.

SER's Board of Directors

Mr. Frank J. Kross

President PFS Financial, LLC

Mr. Frank Casillas

Secretary Retired Former Undersecretary at US Department of Labor

Mr. Rojello Padilla

Treasurer Carlex Group

Ms. Jacqueline Summerville

Allied HealthCare Network

Ms. Blanca Vargas

League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

Mr. Ray Lozano

Mexicantown Community Development Corporation

Ms. Eva Garza Dewaelsche

SER Metro Detroit

Mr. Jaime DiPaolo

President & Chief Operating Officer Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Chamber of Commerce

Mr. Al Galvan

Honorary Board Member Founder of SER, AGIF Commander

Little Village Center
3948 W. 26th Street, Suite 213
Chicago, IL 60623
(773) 542-9030
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SERCO Office
7222 W Cermak Rd Suite 301
North Riverside, IL 60546
(708) 222-3100
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Central States SER Aurora
WIOA Youth Program
31 W. Downer Place Suite 308
Aurora, IL 60506
(708) 715-5300
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