OICA IS HIRING!

OICA IS HIRING!

Job Title: Partnership Manager

Supervisor: Director of Partnerships

Salary: $60,000 + Commission (Full Competitive Benefits Package after 1 full- year of service)

FSLA Status: Exempt, Full-time Regular

Location: Remote/ Occasionally In-Office in Philadelphia, PA

ORGANIZATION SUMMARY:

OIC of America (OICA) is a nonprofit organization and the national office of a network of 31 workforce development organizations spread across the United States.  Our mission is to provide underserved communities with the tools and support needed to overcome barriers to economic opportunity.  We envision a world in which all people are contributing members of their families and communities.  Through their efforts and ours, our participants can break the cycle of poverty, and aid to creating a more just and equitable society.  OICA provides job and life skills training and matches our graduates with the employment needs of local businesses.  Our organization and broader network have trained over 2 million people nationwide over the past 50+ years.

POSITION SUMMARY:

OICA is seeking a Partnerships Manager to build strategic relationships with key stakeholders that can support the signature programs, including the SOAR reentry project. The duties of the Partnerships Manager include working closely with OIC affiliates across multiple cities to help connect them with key stakeholders and resources that are available in their local business, workforce, and reentry ecosystems.

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OICA Remembers 911  – Patriot Day

OICA Remembers 911 – Patriot Day

Photo Credit: She knows.com

Today, we honor those we lost and remember our strength when we stand together.

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Diversity Is Essential In STEM. Here’s How People Are Organizing ‘Good Trouble’ To Make A Change.

Diversity Is Essential In STEM. Here’s How People Are Organizing ‘Good Trouble’ To Make A Change.

Calvin Mackie – Contributor

Workforce development is another area in STEM ripe for Good Trouble, Necessary Trouble. The consulting company McKinsey & Co. recently published a report entitled, “The Future of Work in Black America,” projecting that automation may disrupt 4.5 million jobs held by African Americans over the next 10 years. It is believed that automation which consists of Artificial Intelligence, machine language, and robots will replace low-wage, low-skill jobs in the near future. Many are afraid that the Covid-19 pandemic will hasten the shift to automation in the American economy.

Community-based workforce development and training programs must commit to providing trainees with skills for 21st-century jobs. Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America (OICA) is an organization committed to fighting the good fight.  “We must continue to fight for the change we seek – The State of Work in this country has and continues to change with evolving technologies. OICA and its network of Affiliates are responding to these changes.  As one of the longstanding and influential historical African American Workforce Development institutions in this country, we understand that we must be STEM-focused.

“Our network of affiliates works tirelessly to prepare people of color for sustainable jobs that lead to living-wage careers.  The Digital Divide is pervasive in the communities that we serve; as such, we seek to partner with STEM experts to develop scalable models focused on developing the entire pipeline from the cradle with 21st-century skills.  Our necessary trouble is blowing up the old model and embed STEM into the 31 Affiliates and communities we serve, across 21 states, and close the divide.” says James Haynes, President & CEO of OICA.

Read the full article here. https://www.forbes.com/sites/calvinmackie/2020/08/05/good-trouble-in-stem/

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We’re hiring! – Pre-Release Manager

We’re hiring! – Pre-Release Manager

Job Title:                    Pre-Release Manager  

Supervisor:                Senior Program Manager

Salary:                        $60,000 + Competitive Benefit Package                

FSLA Status:             Exempt, Full-time Regular

Location:                    Philadelphia

Application Due Date: 09/12/2020

POSITION SUMMARY:  

OIC of America (OICA) is a nonprofit organization and the national office of a network of 31 workforce development organizations spread across the United States.  Our mission is to provide underserved communities with the tools and support needed to overcome barriers to economic opportunity.  We envision a world in which all people are contributing members of their families and communities.  Through their efforts and ours, our participants have the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty, in support of creating a more just and equitable society.  OICA provides job and life skills training and matches our graduates with the employment needs of local businesses.  Our organization and broader network have trained over 2 million people nationwide over the past 50+ years.

The Pre-Release Manager serves as the liaison between correctional facilities staff and OIC affiliates implementing OIC of America’s SOAR re-entry program. They will provide overall management and monitoring of service coordination while connecting OIC affiliates with appropriate pre-release service providers as needed. This position will work closely with affiliate frontline staff and correctional staff to understand the needs of participants pre-release, develop and implement transitional plans, research and gather community resources/support, and develop partnerships with agencies and organizations to support the achievement of program outcomes.

They will also track program participants’ progress and provide reports to corrections as well as coordinate transitions of participants from state prisons and local jails into community. The Pre-Release Manager will be responsible for preparing monthly outcome reports to brief correctional staff and other stakeholders on the program’s progress. This role will require one to represent OICA within the Pennsylvania re-entry eco-system and participate in convenings, discussions, or similar platforms to build new alliances and partnerships that propel the work of the organization.

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We’re hiring! – Program Manager

We’re hiring! – Program Manager

Job Title:                     Program Manager  

Supervisor:                 Senior Program Manager

Salary:                        $60,000 + Competitive Benefit Package                      

FSLA Status:               Exempt, Full-time Regular

Location:                    Philadelphia

POSITION SUMMARY:  

OIC of America (OICA) is a nonprofit organization and the national office of a network of 34 workforce development organizations spread across the United States.  Our mission is to provide underserved communities with the tools and support needed to overcome barriers to economic opportunity.  We envision a world in which all people are contributing members of their families and communities.  Through their efforts and ours, our participants have the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty, and aid to creating a more just and equitable society.  OICA provides job and life skills training and matches our graduates with the employment needs of local businesses.  Our organization and broader network have trained over 2 million people nationwide over the past 50+ years.

The Program Manager acts as a coach/technical assistance provider and serves as the liaison between OIC affiliates and OICA through our reentry program called SOAR. They will provide overall management and monitoring OIC affiliates program operations to include service delivery, partnership development, compliance, etc. This position will work closely with frontline staff and OICA staff to understand participants’ needs by analyzing data and building meaningful relationships with OIC affiliates. This role is unique, as this person will work with a graphic designer to generate social media elements that raise the SOAR program’s visibility. Such elements could include flyers, social media memes, or videos that tell stories about the program’s accomplishments. OICA’s Program Manager will be generating monthly outcome reports to executives and federal project officers. This role will require one to represent OICA as an expert within the reentry eco-system and attend future convenings, discussions, or similar platforms to build new alliances and partnerships that propel the institution’s work.

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Tune in to the Wall Street Journal’s “Community Conversations: The Impact of Re-Entry Programs” with OIC of America’s very own Lètitia A. Crippen

Tune in to the Wall Street Journal’s “Community Conversations: The Impact of Re-Entry Programs” with OIC of America’s very own Lètitia A. Crippen

Re-entry programs across the country are helping people re-enter the workplace amid new challenges with Covid-19 and a tightened job market. Join Lètitia A. Crippen, Senior Program Manager for OIC of America, Caitlin Dawkins, Program Manager at FHI 360 National Institute for Work and Learning and Kerri Pruitt, Executive Director at The Dannon Project, as they discuss working with formerly incarcerated people to start new lives and the roles of communities and employers in that journey.

#reentry#philadelphia#oicofamerica#COVID19 To view this discussion on Thursday, July 23, 2020, at 1:00 pm EST. Please use this event link: https://www.wsj.com/live-qa/community-conversations-the-impact-of-re-entry-programs/8D9316C8-A19C-48A0-AACA-7444BB4D7001

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Department of Labor funds OIC of America to serve 5000 returning citizens by 2023,  with 2000 served in Pennsylvania

Department of Labor funds OIC of America to serve 5000 returning citizens by 2023, with 2000 served in Pennsylvania

PRESS RELEASE

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 

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Happy JUNETEENTH from OIC of America

Happy JUNETEENTH from OIC of America

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.

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Montgomery County begins COVID19 contact tracing at Norristown test site

Montgomery County begins COVID19 contact tracing at Norristown test site

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.

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OIC of America Condemns Racism and Fights for Social Justice

OIC of America Condemns Racism and Fights for Social Justice

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.

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OIC’s Feeding America – One Community at a Time

OIC’s Feeding America – One Community at a Time

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.  

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Chester County OIC SOAR Success Story – Roberto B.

Chester County OIC SOAR Success Story – Roberto B.

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.

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Rocky Mount OIC SOAR Success Story –  Michale Liggins

Rocky Mount OIC SOAR Success Story – Michale Liggins

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. 

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Philadelphia OIC SOAR Success Story – Khalil Shields

Philadelphia OIC SOAR Success Story – Khalil Shields

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.

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COVID-19 Guidance for OICA

COVID-19 Guidance for OICA

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.

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Martin Luther King, Jr.: Speech in Rocky Mount, N.C., November 1962

Martin Luther King, Jr.: Speech in Rocky Mount, N.C., November 1962

The OICA team visited the auditorium in Rocky Mount where Dr. Martin Luther King gave the original “I have a dream” address. The below article gives historical background on his visit to Rocky Mount.

By Michael Hill

Research Branch, NC Office of Archives and History, 2006
https://www.ncdcr.gov/about/history/division-historical-resources/nc-highway-historical-marker-program

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OICA Site Visit at OIC of Wilson

OICA Site Visit at OIC of Wilson

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.

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Spotlight: Portland OIC Middle School Tech/STEM Fair

Spotlight: Portland OIC Middle School Tech/STEM Fair

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!

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Judge Renée Cardwell Hughes will lead Philadelphia OIC into the New Decade

Judge Renée Cardwell Hughes will lead Philadelphia OIC into the New Decade

All, some exciting news!
In case you didn’t receive or may have missed this important Executive Leadership Announcement, Judge Reneé Caldwell Hughes, who served on the Philadelphia bench for 15 years before moving on to serve in the role as President and CEO of the Regional Red Cross, has joined the Philadelphia OIC organization as it’s new President and CEO. Please join me in welcoming Reneé to the OIC family.  The press release announcement is below.

Also of note, I think it is important that we also give praise and our appreciation to Charles Crumbley, Philadelphia OIC’s former Interim President and CEO, for a job well done. Charles faithfully served in this capacity for 19 months as they conducted their executive search. We wish Charles and his family all the best and thank him for his service to OIC.

James Haynes, OICA President and CEO

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Honoring Elton Jolly, an OIC Legend (1931-2019)

Honoring Elton Jolly, an OIC Legend (1931-2019)

Elton Jolly was one of the original members of the OIC movement with Dr. Leon H. Sullivan.  Elton’s impact helped shaped OIC into the powerhouse of an organization that it would become and is still impacting lives in a positive way some 55 years later in 2019.  Given Elton’s impact on OIC in the formative years,  I thought it important to share with you an excerpt from his testimony before the House of Representatives in 1978 to give you some insights into his thinking regarding poor people in this country and what was needed to improve their situation and the role OIC would play.

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OICA and Celebrity Ambassador, Gerald Alston, and OICA President, James Haynes, interview with Patty Jackson of WDAS FM

OICA and Celebrity Ambassador, Gerald Alston, and OICA President, James Haynes, interview with Patty Jackson of WDAS FM

On Friday, August 30th, President and Board Chair, James Haynes, and OICA Celebrity Ambassador, Gerald Alston, had the pleasure of interviewing with Patty Jackson of WDAS to discuss the program and much more.

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Meet our Keynote: OIC Leadership Conference 2019

Meet our Keynote: OIC Leadership Conference 2019

ROGER A. MITCHELL, JR. MD

Dr. Mitchell is a board-certified Forensic Pathologist and serves as the Chief Medical Examiner of Washington DC.  He is a world leader in forensic medicine.  He has lectured in places like Bangladesh, Mumbai, Belize City, and Cairo.  He is a leader in the fight against gun violence and recently appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe discussing gun violence as a public health issue.  Dr. Mitchell is a licensed minister at New Bethel Baptist Church in Washington DC where he has the great privilege of serving Returning Citizens and their families as the Phoenix Minister. 

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OICA Celebrity Ambassador Program featuring Gerald Alston of the Manhattans

OICA Celebrity Ambassador Program featuring Gerald Alston of the Manhattans

Gerald Alston, the 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 to 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

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 Celebrity Ambassador Program featuring Gerald Alston of the Manhattans

Gerald Alston Celebrity Ambassador Promotional Video

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HAP/OICA announcement video

HAP/OICA announcement video

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OIC to mark 50th anniversary

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 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

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

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

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.  

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Participant Success Story – Tri-County OIC, Harrisburg PA

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.

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OICA Supports Fighting Chance Act at PA State Capital

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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OICA Career Opportunity: Program Coordinator

OICA is hiring a Program Coordinator to help ensure programming under OICA’s national re-entry program, SOAR, is operating in alignment with best practice models, federal regulations, and funder contracts. He/she works directly with executive leaders, program managers, and frontline staff.

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ABOUT US

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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@OICofAmerica

Participant Success Story – Philadelphia OIC – OIC of America oicofamerica.org/2019/04/16/par…

CONTACT US

  • OIC of America

  • 1415 N. Broad Street, Suite 116
    Philadelphia, PA 19122-3323
  • Phone: (215) 236-4500
  • Fax: (215) 236-7480

© OIC of America.

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