Hispanic Leaders Angry At Decision to Cut Funding for Job Program

Funding for a long time non-profit program that helps minorities with job skills training and employment is apparently being cut. Local Hispanic leaders are upset that the decision comes at a time when services are needed the most. Pat Hernandez has more.
A review committee of the Houston-Galveston Area Council voted to terminate operational funds to SER...Jobs for Progress. Rodney Bradshaw, Director of Human Services says it's a matter of economics.

"SER's been a long time contractor at HGAC and to the Workforce board. But simply the decision was forced due to the fund reduction that we have to make plans around."

SER is part of a national program that began in 1964 aimed largely at the Hispanic community. It addresses the needs of economically challenged individuals in education, job skills training, literacy and employment. It is governed by a volunteer board of directors comprised of representatives that include The League of United Latin American Citizens and the American GI Forum.

Fransisco B Rodriguez is LULAC's district director.

"We're not responsible because there's been a shortfall. We're not responsible because we've succeeded in putting people to work and our employment ratio is lower here than it is in the midwest states. That's where the rest of the money is going now."

Bradshaw says they face a 17-million dollar reduction in operation expenses:

"How do we accomodate this 25-percent reduction in funds available to us, and it's only appropriate to look at the relative performance, and right now that organization trailed the other ones."

HGAC's Board of Directors will vote on the recommendation to terminate funding. Hispanic leaders say they will fight to keep that from happening.

Pat Hernnadez, KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.
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Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...