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Sidney Newell Jr.

Sidney Newell Jr. is a US Army veteran who took advantage of SER training opportunities back in 1989.


“I grew up in a small town down in Mississippi. I came out to Houston because my brother is living out here in. I was in my twenties,” says Sidney Newell Jr., a US Army veteran who took advantage of SER training opportunities back in 1989.

“I was in welding, welding steel.” Sidney had been enjoying stable employment until his company was bought by a different business that wasn't interested in keeping the division that worked with steel, which affected Sidney directly.

"They started making changes over there. So I moved on. That's when I went to school there at SER. I took classes over there."

“I was looking at job banks and trainings. And I went over to SER for the training. What I really wanted was the Metro bus driver, Metrolift training," says Sidney, but he was advised to switch over to the security training because a job in that field would pay more than the bus driver position.

"[The security training] took a month or 3 weeks. It wasn't that long. After I finished the training, one of the ladies that were trying to help us look for different jobs was looking for someone who was a veteran. I'm a veteran - I was in the Army in the Vietnam War. The lady had a job opening. It was for the United Way. That was in in 1989. I've been at the United Way ever since.”

While Sidney started off doing security at the United Way, he does something very different now. “I work with audiovisual equipment. All the laptops and audio.”

“I enjoy working here. It's been great. You reach a lot of people. It makes me feel happy,” says Sidney.

Sidney has fond memories of his experience at SER: “it was good, because I was looking for something after the welding, something I could fall back on. It was a stepping stone. SER is great. I enjoyed it.”