Category: Blog

Dear OIC Family,

We are excited to announce that OICA has been awarded two (2) DOL Reentry Grants totaling $8,787,369 that will run under our SOAR brand name – these are 3 year grants starting July 1, 2018.  One Grant will serve Young Adults 18 – 24 years of age and Grant two will serve Adults 25 years of age and older. This represents a total of four (4) Grants awarded to OICA as an Intermediary in three (3) years bringing our DOL Reentry total award monies to $17.8 million dollars.

This award also reflects a meaningful revenue contribution to our Strategic Plan and is consistent with what we shared with you earlier in the year.  It increases the number of OIC Affiliates participating in DOL Reentry work from 7 to 10, or 29% of our Affiliate Network. It also expands the number of states that OIC has participating in Reentry work from 5 to 7, or 31% of our currant US state coverage.

Please join me congratulating the Awardees with special thanks to Jason Whyte and the entire OICA staff (Gail, Michael, Patty, Letitia, Naja, Linda) for organizing and delivering  winning proposals.  I think everyone recognizes how tough  the effort is to pull together all of the relevant data for one submission, but two submissions at the same time, even more intense.  For this intense effort we were rewarded as OICA was the only Intermediary who received awards for both Adults and Young Adults.  Job well done by all of those who worked to pull it together as it really does take a Village!

Time to get started – by now each OIC Executive who will participate in this round has been contacted by Jason as to next steps in order to get started. Of note with this round of funding, the planning period has been reduced from 6 months to 3 months.  With this change it will be extremely important that the new participants get organized and focused quickly in order to keep pace with critical enrollment plans and timing.

This award will be delivered as follows and OICA will serve as intermediary.

Serving Adults – Clark County OIC – Portland OIC – Tri-County OIC – Philadelphia OIC – Total DOL dollars $4,424,458.

Serving Young Adults – American Indian OIC – Rocky Mount OIC – Portland OIC – Chester County OIC – Total DOL dollars $4,362,911.

Final acknowledgement — we as an organization are honored to be able to do the work we do as we stand on the shoulders of our founder Leon H. Sullivan for having the vision of  creating an organization built to  help those most in need. It is in this spirit that we must also acknowledge Newton Sanon and his team in South Florida for developing the model  we use to deliver our Reentry Services.  With our “strength in numbers” approach leveraging best and promising practices, we’ve been able to leverage South Florida’s model program with enhancements to deliver program services that are beginning to be recognized by the DOL as a program worthy of further study by others in the industry.  We thank Newton Sanon and the South Florida team for including us in this important journey.

James Haynes, OICA President & Board Chair






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Jun 9, 2018


As an ex-offender, Kasim Ward is thankful for the opportunity to have a second chance.

The 20-year-old is currently tapping into OIC of Americas, Inc.’s re-entry program named SOAR (Skills and Opportunities for Achievement and Responsibility). Through its affiliate network, OICA aims to reduce recidivism by helping formerly incarcerated young adults between the ages of 18 to 24 successfully transition back into their communities.

“I appreciate the whole idea of reentry,” Ward said, as he spoke during an event held Friday afternoon to mark Re-entry Month and celebrate SOAR’s first year anniversary. “I learned from my mistakes. I made some mistakes that doesn’t truly represent me as an individual, but reentry has allowed me to be a better man for my daughter, for my family and for my community. I’m learning. I’m prospering, I’m building. I’m restoring myself.”

Community members, elected officials, corporate officials and OIC staff turned out for the celebration.

“Were in the business of changing lives and providing second chances,” said James Haynes, the president of the OICA and national board chair.

The SOAR program is currently being offered through seven OICA affiliates, including Philadelphia OIC.

“The national recidivism rate is 76.6 percent and this is unacceptable and this is why programs such as SOAR are so vital and so needed in Philadelphia and around the country,” said Charles Crumbley III, interim president of Philadelphia OIC.

“The best way to reduce recidivism is by meeting the returning citizen where he or she is at that stage in their lives and being a conduit to resources. Whether its basic fundamentals such as providing food, or transportation, educational life skills and vocational training, we do our best to meet the needs of our clients so that they can focus on acquiring the skills that they need to live sustainable lives.”

Philadelphia OIC currently has 60 SOAR program participants and seeks to have 120 people enrolled by the end of June. The organization is currently training participants for jobs in the areas of culinary arts, hospitality, retail and welding.

OICA received $9 million in federal grants for its affiliates to offer SOAR in Philadelphia; Harrisburg; Clark County, Ohio; Minneapolis, Minn.; Newark, N.J. and Miami.

Program participants are enrolled during a period ranging from six to 12 months depending on their educational background. They receive case management, education and training leading to industry-recognized credentials, workforce activities that lead to employment and nine months of follow-up activities.

OICA has formed partnerships with various organizations such as Uplift Solutions and Amachi, Inc. to conduct re-entry work.

During the press conference, state Rep. Curtis Thomas (D-Phila.) spoke about the importance of ensuring that returning citizens are able to become productive community members.

“Criminal justice in America is not about rehabilitation,” Thomas said. “It’s about punishment and hoping that punishment will teach others to avoid doing the same thing, but at the end of the day they are coming home and we’ve got to make sure that they are able to become productive members of their families, their communities, the city of Philadelphia and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

As part of the SOAR celebration, OICA held a job and resource fair at its Broad Street headquarters featuring employers, community service partners and justice partners.



OIC is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization preparing people for today's workforce with quality life skills development, fundamental education, superior job skills training, and employment readiness services.



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