FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2020
Philadelphia, PA. – The National Headquarters of ‘Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America (OICA) of Philadelphia, PA. For more than 55 years, OIC of America and its 31 affiliates in 21 states continue to offer proven programs and strategies that address the overlapping inequities and systemic disinvestment in communities of color. This investment by the US Department of Labor allows us to serve more people and prepare them for meaningful employment and a pathway to a career while providing additional supports that assist them with becoming contributing members of this society. Through this current opportunity, the OICA network will serve more than 2,000 participants who are currently or formerly involved in the criminal justice system in the following locations:
- MN – North and South Minneapolis
- FL – Broward and Miami-Dade Counties
- PA – Philadelphia, Harrisburg, & Norristown
- NC – Greater Rocky Mount
History of JUNETEENTH – https://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.
Photo Credit: ABC12 News
NORRISTOWN — Montgomery County officials have begun contact tracing at a COVID-19 testing site in Norristown and a more widespread program could be in place as early as next week, according to officials.
“We have actually already started some contact tracing through our Norristown-based community testing site. Anyone tested at that site, we’re now able to do contact tracing,” county Commissioners’ Chairwoman Dr. Valerie Arkoosh said during a Wednesday news briefing.
Contact tracing programs are a major component of Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to reopen counties and their economies across the state. Contact tracing involves identifying those with who an infected person has been in close contact so they can self-quarantine to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
We have all heard it before, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” The unjust treatment and senseless killing of Black people in this country must stop now.
The Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America (OICA) and its network of Affiliates is devastated by the senseless murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and the countless other victims of systemic racism and ethnic intolerance. This pain of injustice has plagued our communities for far too long. We stand against racially biased policing and the acts of state-sanctioned violence and brutality that continues to disproportionately impact black and brown people in this nation, and across the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected marginalized communities around the country, and many OIC affiliates are stepping in to help provide healthy food options and personal hygiene items to those who need it most. We wanted to share some of the inspirational stories captured and reported on local media through Radio, TV and Print that display OIC’s resilience and commitment to bring relief during this time of crisis. The below stories cover Montgomery County OIC, ABCCM an Affiliate of OIC, Summit Academy OIC and Chester County OIC.
Roberto was referred to CCOIC by the director of a local homeless shelter. At 19 years old he was kicked out of his home by his stepfather. As a homeless youth, Roberto carried a pocketknife in his backpack for protection. When school officials discovered he had a knife, they expelled him halfway through his senior year. Although expelled, he was given the option to complete his schoolwork on-line. The entire SOAR staff worked in tandem with the shelter director to put in place a mechanism for Roberto to be able to complete his schoolwork. With our help providing a safe space with computer access and job preparation opportunities, Roberto has been successfully keeping up with school while also receiving a job placement to begin earning some much needed income.
Mr. Michale Liggins enrolled in the Young Adult SOAR Program on March 20, 2019 as a 19-year-old homeless participant. He came in with a determination to obtain a GED and also full-time employment. Since being enrolled in the program Mr. Liggins has made much progress. The SOAR Program made sure Mr. Liggins had the housing he needed by referring him to partners, and enrolled him into the GED program in Fall of 2019 where he is close to receiving his High School Equivalency. During this time he also received job placement at Golden Corral on August 12, 2019.
Khalil Shields started his journey with the SOAR program at Philadelphia OIC in November of 2019. Khalil is a funny & light-hearted person. When he came to the program he was on house arrest but still took the initiative to use that time constructively and advance his goals. Khalil enrolled in training for construction with the Energy Coordinating Agency. Khalil’s positive attitude and sense of humor served him well and helped him overcome any challenges he faced. Khalil completed his training with the Energy Coordinating Agency on February 14th, 2020, and earned his OSHA 10 and other certificates.
The spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has all of our attention. I wanted to let you know the OIC Network is doing everything possible to keep our employees, clients, and community members, safe while delivering essential services.
What We’re Doing
We’re monitoring and following all guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), including taking the steps necessary to reduce the threat of COVID-19 exposure to employees and clients. Our affiliates, in many cases, remain open to serve you. Each affiliate has an emergency management plan, in accordance with their state, on how to proceed in our current climate. Some locations have had their hours adjusted as a result of local conditions. For the latest updates on affiliate hours, you can visit the websites of your local affiliate.