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.
Businesses and Workplaces
For Employers and Businesses
Guidance and strategies to help prevent workplace exposures to COVID-19
Plan, Prepare, and Respond – Updated October 2020
See the CDC’s Guidelines here – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html
See the OSHA COVID-19 guidancepdf iconexternal icon for more information on how to protect workers from potential exposures, according to their exposure risk. Plans should consider that employees may be able to spread COVID-19 even if they do not show symptoms.
All employers need to consider how best to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and lower the impact in your workplace. This should include activities to:
- prevent and reduce transmission among employees,
- maintain healthy business operations, and
- maintain a healthy work environment.
Sheneathia Hanson, MBA, is a passionate and unstoppable force of nature that we are proud to recognize as a true representative of our OIC network. A North Carolina native, Ms. Hanson came to Rocky Mount OIC with over 10 years of experience working directly with the Re-entry population in her neighboring communities. Having partnered with OIC throughout her years in the field of direct service, she was always aware of Rocky Mount OIC’s reputation as “a singular beacon of Hope” for the surrounding communities as well as a hub for in-house training and education. Once SOAR came to the doors of 402 E. Virginia Street, Sheneathia knew she wanted to be the one to help build out its SOAR unique offerings. She has since curated an incredible and cohesive team of inspirational and compassionate practitioners that are teaming with success stories from the hundreds of participants they have managed to serve thus far.
OIC of America visited OIC of Wilson to learn about how they’re providing skills training and implemented SOAR to help North Carolina’s returning citizens. The OIC of America team was treated to unrivaled southern hospitality and a host of promising practices to bring to the network.
Last year, Rosemary Anderson received a generous $100,000 grant from Intel as part of the She Will Connect initiative, solidifying efforts to get more girls interested in STEM fields. The year-long project culminated in a hugely successful Tech/STEM Fair in January. Students and staff hosted 250 guests, including Intel representatives and POIC Board members, and three hard-working scholars received laptops for having the most impressive exhibits. Way to go, RAMS!