OIC of America Awarded U.S. Department of Labor Reentry Grant Totaling $4,500,000

Date: July 3, 2019

SOAR program expands from eleven to twelve affiliates and program partners in seven states

Philadelphia, PA – OIC of America (OICA) was awarded a new three-year U.S. DOL Reentry Grant totaling $4,500.000 which will expand its SOAR program. Starting July 1, 2019, this grant will serve adults 25 years of age and older. This represents a total of 5 grants awarded to OICA as an intermediary in the past three years, bringing their U.S. DOL Reentry total awards to $22.2 million dollars and more importantly serving approximately 3000 returning citizens. This award allowed OICA to expand their current program from eleven Affiliates and program partners to twelve, covering six states, which is 32% of their affiliate network, and 27% of their current U.S. state coverage. 

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, these grants give organizations the opportunity to develop methods that maximize participants’ inclusion and integration into society, employment opportunities, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency. They intend to address the full range of challenges faced by justice-involved individuals transitioning back to the community. The Department awarded these grants to a combination of rural and urban organizations located in high-crime, high-poverty communities. Awardees offer a range of services based on current evidence and proven research, and promising and emerging practices. The intent of the Reentry Projects grant program is to protect community safety by ensuring that participants who successfully exit the program are provided with positive opportunities to engage in employment or education; become productive, responsible, and law-abiding members of society who can now maintain long-term employment, and establish a stable residence.  

OICA will serve as Intermediary and the following Network Affiliates will provide program services to participants in the SOAR Program: 

Serving Adults 25 and older 

  • Montgomery County OIC – Executive Director, Denise Ashe
  • Rocky Mount OIC – Executive Director, Reuben Blackwell 
  • OIC of South Florida – Executive Director, Newton Sanon
  • OIC of Wilson – Executive Director, Bob Farris 

 “We are once again honored and grateful to be selected by the DOL to expand our SOAR (Skills, Opportunities, Achievement, Responsibility) Reentry Program services to 570 additional participants, bringing our total participants to be served of nearly 3000 ending in 2022 with this most recent award,” said James Haynes, OICA President and Board Chair.

Educational and community-based programs play a key role in OICA’s vision and mission. The OIC network administers programs in; vocational training, job readiness, healthcare, education, reentry, and youth development. OICA plans to continue the expansion of its national team to provide technical assistance, performance management, and support to its network of affiliates and program partners.

About OIC of America

In the 1960s, after leading selective patronage campaigns in Philadelphia to expose discriminatory hiring practices and opening thousands of jobs to African Americans, Reverend Leon H. Sullivan (1922-2001) founded the Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC), a vocational, educational, and life skills training organization designed to prepare young men and women for full-time employment. The OIC organization quickly expanded beyond Philadelphia and ultimately grew into a national and international movement that trained millions of workers from all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Today, OIC of America (OICA) is a national network of community-based organizations that delivers results-driven leadership in workforce development. The organization employs best- and promising-practice programming as targeted interventions to address nationwide problems that affect the economically disadvantaged. One of these problems is mass incarceration coupled with the high rates of recidivism. Currently, OICA has 35 affiliates in 22 states.

This workforce product (SOAR) was funded by a $4.5 million-dollar grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by the institution that created it.

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