DOL Announces YouthBuild Grant Awards to 2 OIC Affiliates

DOL Announces YouthBuild Grant Awards to 2 OIC Affiliates
Two $1 million grants will benefit at-risk youth

(Philadelphia, PA) — OIC of America, Inc. is pleased to announce that OIC affiliates located in Yakima, WA and Springfield, OH are the recipients YouthBuild grants.

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the awards to the OIC of Washington —$1,100,000 (www.yvoic.org ) and the OIC of Clark County–$1,076,000 (www.oicofclarkco.org ) to support academic and occupational skill training for at-risk youth.

“The YouthBuild program has demonstrated a record of elevating the opportunities and prospects for good, middle-class jobs for thousands of young people throughout this nation,” said acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris. “These grants reflect our shared commitment to investing in the future of our nation’s youth and the belief that those investments will yield dividends for generations to come.”

Nearly $72 million in total grants were awarded ranging from approximately $600,000 to $1.1 million each and will fund 68 YouthBuild programs in 33 states and the District of Columbia. The programs will help nearly 4,600 young people obtain the certifications and skills necessary to achieve economic self-sufficiency. The Labor Department now actively funds 247 YouthBuild programs around the country.

Michael Calabrese, Executive Director of the OIC of Clark County stated, “We are very excited. However, we could not have done this without the assistance and guidance of Mr. Claudius Adebayo, Executive Director of the OIC of Racine County.”

YouthBuild is a nonresidential, community-based alternative education program that provides classroom instruction and occupational skills training to at-risk individuals ages 16 to 24. The classroom training leads to a high school diploma, general education development or other state-recognized equivalency diploma. The occupational skills training component provides YouthBuild participants with industry-recognized certifications in construction or other occupations. The construction skills training component teaches valuable skills through a program to build or rehabilitate housing for low-income or homeless individuals and families in their communities.

OICA Chairman, Art Taylor said, “We are pleased that these two OIC affiliates have been able to obtain these very competitive grants. And with these funds, they will be able to serve youth in their communities who want to move ahead with their lives.”

Today’s announcement marks the second competition in which YouthBuild programs expand occupational skills training beyond construction to include in-demand industries such as health care and information technology. This expansion provides opportunities for youth to gain training, credentials and skills that lead to career fulfillment for youth who have been in the juvenile justice system, are aging out of foster care, have dropped out of high school, or are otherwise at-risk of failing to reach key educational and career milestones.

Leadership development and community service are also key elements of the YouthBuild program, helping to ensure that the participants maintain a connection to their communities through service and volunteerism.

Contact:         
Greg DeLozier
215-236-4500 ext. 274
gdelozier@oicofamerica.org

Deborah L. Scott
215-778-1667
scottie@oicofamerica.org

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About OIC of Americ
Founded in 1964 by the late Reverend Dr. Leon Howard Sullivan, OIC of America, Inc. (OICA) is a national non-profit network of employment and training programs bound together by a common commitment, to help the disadvantaged realize their true potential. With forty-four (44) affiliated programs in twenty-two (22) states and the District of Columbia, OIC has grown into a movement, which has served over two (2) million disadvantaged and under-skilled people.

A philosophy of “self-help” and the system of developing the “whole person” enables individuals to become self-sufficient, productive workers.  OICA prepares people for today’s workforce with quality life skills development, fundamental education, job skills training, and employment readiness.

The OIC self-help movement will mark its 50th anniversary in 2014.

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