Category: News

OICA Celebrity Ambassador Program featuring Gerald Alston of the Manhattans

Gerald Alston, revered lead singer for the Grammy Award-winning R&B group the Manhattans, is the first entertainer to become a part of the new OICA Celebrity Ambassador Program(CAP). OICA Celebrity Ambassadors are leaders in the entertainment industry, representing the fields of film, television, music, sports and beyond. 

The program is designed to help raise awareness about OICA/OIC and the work being done to support and enable the economically disadvantaged, unemployed and under-employed people of all races and backgrounds become productive, more fulfilled members of society.  This work is  being done through a Network of 35 Affiliates located in 22 states around the US. The organization’s motto is “Helping People Help Themselves “and Gerald Alston is a huge advocate of helping others to reach their full potential. 

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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. 

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OIC to mark 50th anniversary

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Opportunities Industrialization Center will honor students who have successfully met the guidelines and goals of its high school equivalency and trades certifications courses and celebrate its 50th anniversary at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the former Booker T. Washington High School auditorium.

“This year’s celebration will be different from most of our graduation ceremonies,” said Charles Washington, OIC’s director of education services. “Because it is our 50th year of bringing enlightenment to generations of eager minds and willing hands, we are going all out to celebrate our students’ success. Creative presentations from students, staff and community are going to be uplifting and exciting. Our graduates are enthused and our families are proud. This one is not to be missed.”

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OIC of America Welcomes Hmong American Partnership (HAP) to Affiliate Network

OIC network expands to St. Paul, Minnesota, further strengthening HAP’s technical expertise and investment in workforce development

St. Paul, MN – OIC of America, Inc. announced today that Hmong American Partnership (HAP), based in St. Paul, MN., is joining the OIC network of affiliates. OIC of America, Inc., founded by Reverend Leon H. Sullivan (1922 – 2001) in 1964, serves as the national headquarters for OIC Affiliates. OIC is a nationally recognized organization focused on serving underrepresented people all over the country for more than 50 years, serving millions of participants in the areas of Work Readiness, Education, Reentry, Youth Development and Healthcare.

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OICA Community Reentry Resource & Job Fair

On Friday, June 7, 2019, OIC of America, is celebrating Reentry Month and the second anniversary of our SOAR reentry program by partnering with Philadelphia OIC and the Philadelphia Reentry Coalition to host our second annual Community Resource & Job Fair. The event is free to the public and partners, and will include music, face painting, games, refreshments, and an abundance of resources for the community.

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OICA visits OIC of South Florida and Program Partners

On April 8th, OIC of America visited the SOAR program in OIC of South Florida. During the visit we conducted a formal review and visited partners.

On April 8th , Michael Jackiewicz, OICA Director of Quality Assurance & Lètitia Crippen, SOAR Program Manager visited OIC of South Florida’s referral partner Here’s Help. Here’s Help is an outpatient and inpatient facility servicing men from 14-24 years old who were formally incarcerated and or have drug & alcohol challenges. Their amazing facility has a full kitchen, music recording studio, gym, and more on site.  Once a client completes their program, Here’s Help sends them to SOAR to receive training and job placement services. https://hereshelpinc.com/

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Participant Success Story – Philadelphia OIC

Meet Kyrstal, who is more than a participant, but a leader amongst her peers. Kyrstal has overcome addiction, homelessness, and incarceration. Today, she is a proud SOAR ambassador and developed a program to empower women in the program.

“A second chance for me means that I am finally able to take matters into my own hands and continue to perfect my skills…”

The full Story

Krystal Perea overcame homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction and incarceration. Growing up with absent parents in a broken home, “paved a path of destruction” for her. She linked up with the wrong crowd and began selling and abusing drugs. She tried to get herself together by enrolling into CCP, which ended up being a mistake at the time because she was unable to focus and continue her education due to being homeless.  

She displayed the resilience of a young woman looking to get her life back on track by focusing on being and staying sober, looking for solid support networks and by assessing careers. She enrolled in Power Corps and and developed relationships with mentors that are still involved in her life today and continues to serve as a support system and motivating factor(s) in her life to keep her on track to her successes in life.

She has become a SOAR participant and an Ambassador within the program. She serves as a very intricate spokesperson for the program and the participants alike. She has created and implemented an ongoing workshop for the young women in the program entitled; Salon Talks. Her value and worthiness to the program as a whole has been monumental to say the least.

“A second chance for me means that I am finally able to take matters into my own hands and continue to perfect my skills and master the crafts I am learning along the way. My overall goal is to use this opportunity to attain m y Associates Degree and become a Case Manager or an advocate for an organization that provides support to adverse youth and young adults. To quote Carl Bard; “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” This is what I live my life by because I feel that this is the journey I am taking currently and will continue to throughout the rest of my life.  

Participant Success Story – Tri-County OIC, Harrisburg PA

Meet Austin Springer, a SOAR participant that has earned his Auto Inspection and his Forklift Certification, and now working as an Auto Technician.  Through SOAR, Austin has maintained his persistent and desire to never give up until the career pathway goals are met. “Second chance means an opportunity to accomplish a goal despite the odds against you,” shares Austin when asked what a second chance means to him.

OICA Supports Fighting Chance Act at PA State Capital

Press Release: State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta

http://www.pahouse.com/Kenyatta/InTheNews/NewsRelease/?id=105910

HARRISBURG, March 26 — Working to cut government red tape and reform the criminal justice system, freshmen state Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., and Andrew Lewis, R-Dauphin, today unveiled their Fighting Chance Act legislation at a state Capitol press conference.

The bill would require state agencies overseeing occupational licensure and the Board of Probation and Parole to reduce red tape by 25 percent over the next three years, with the intent to eliminate unnecessary barriers for people trying to get into these important, licensed occupations.

“Pennsylvania has the potential to be the top state in the nation for jobs and opportunity, but we won’t achieve that goal without significant government reform,” Lewis said. “For example, our state has thousands of outdated regulations governing occupational licensure that are keeping good people out of the workforce and hindering our small businesses growth. We believe we can change that through the Fighting Chance Act.”

The bill also aims to reform the criminal justice system by calling for the removal of barriers to employment for people who have paid their debt to society.

“People who are incarcerated have to perform all types of work in the institutions in which they’re being held,” Kenyatta said. “If you have the training and expertise to do the work of an electrician, plumber, or barber, you should be able to get back to work when you have paid your debt. People deserve a path to redemption and a family-sustaining job. Those who are willing to work hard deserve the chance to do so; to deny them this chance is to doom them to a path of recidivism.”

Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs oversees 29 licensing boards that regulate more than 250 types of licenses and more than 1 million licensees across the commonwealth.

The lawmakers modeled their bill after one recently enacted by the Republican legislature and signed by the Democratic governor of Virginia to create a regulatory reduction pilot program. In that state, the pilot program lasts for three years and requires the agencies within the program to provide reports on their progress, including legislative changes necessary to help them reach their goal of reducing regulatory requirements. These agencies are also required to take any new regulatory action necessary to help them achieve their goal. The benefit of this approach is that agencies are given broad latitude to identify and select the specific regulations to cut, as long as they meet the 25 percent requirement and advance the primary objective, which is to make it easier for small business owners, returning citizens, and really anyone seeking licensure, to enter the workforce in a licensed occupation.

“We believe in good government and in reducing frivolous government regulations; in reforming the criminal justice system; in fighting for everyday workers, families, small business owners and returning citizens,” the lawmakers said. “We believe in giving all Pennsylvanians a fighting chance.”

In addition to Lewis and Kenyatta, the bill has collected 20 co-sponsors.

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