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September 6, 2022

Board of Directors selects Sheila Ireland as President and CEO of Philadelphia OIC

PHILADELPHIA, PA (SEPTEMBER 6, 2022) – Atif Bostic, board chair of Philadelphia OIC, a longstanding Philadelphia-based workforce development nonprofit, announced today that after an extensive six-month search, the board of directors has selected Sheila Ireland as its new President & CEO.

Ireland, a highly skilled and effective workforce development leader, brings to the historic organization founded by the late Reverend Dr. Leon Sullivan in 1964, a plethora of experience in developing programs that improve organizational performance and achieving bottom-line results. She is a managerial leader in transformational change in human resources, training, organizational development and workforce development at the grassroots, local and state levels.

Prior to joining Philadelphia OIC, Ireland served as Deputy Secretary, Workforce Development, at PA Labor & Industry where she oversaw PA’s public workforce development system by leveraging 650+ employees statewide and a $270M+ budget focused on growing Pennsylvania’s workforce and increasing access to well-paying jobs.

Ms. Ireland has 25+ years of experience in workforce development including previous roles such as Executive Director of Workforce Development for the City of Philadelphia. Sheila managed Philadelphia’s first citywide workforce strategy, “Fueling Philadelphia’s Talent Engine.” In this position, she coordinated strategy and communication between local government, education, and training programs, along with employers and service providers to create opportunities for vulnerable populations. Ms. Ireland was also the founding director of the University City District’s West Philadelphia Skills Initiative and launched UCD’s first social venture, Green City Works.

“Sheila served on our board of directors for 2 years and worked extensively on our workforce development and programs committee,” said Bostic. “Her experience in creating effective workforce models and helping us to think through how we can best prepare our students to compete in an evolving employment economy was clear that she was the natural fit to ensure that we are positioned to get people back to work and live sustaining lives. We are thrilled to have her at the helm of OIC to lead us into the future,” 

Ms. Ireland shared, “I am thrilled to have been selected to lead Philadelphia OIC.  We are at an inflection point in Philadelphia where we have a real opportunity to lead the way out of poverty and disenfranchisement from economic opportunity for our most vulnerable residents.  OIC led this movement in Philadelphia during the Civil Rights era and we will continue to work to provide the critical connection between Philadelphians seeking career opportunities and organizations seeking talent”.  

Ms. Ireland has received awards for her work in nonprofits and workforce development including must recently one of the one hundred most influential labor leaders and one of the most influential Black leaders in Pennsylvania. Sheila has earned an A.A. S. degree with Honors in Finance from Community College of Philadelphia, a B.B.A. in Human Resources from Temple University and a M.S. in Human Capital Development from La Salle University. 

Philadelphia OIC, founded at the height of the civil rights movement, with a mission to eradicate poverty through education and job skills, serves more than 1,500 people annually. 

Media inquiries: Aisha Dennis at: adennis@philaoic.org or 215-236-7700 x345 (office). 


About Philadelphia OIC 

Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc. (OIC) is dedicated to the elimination of poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy to ensure a meaningful quality of life for families and individuals within Philadelphia. Founded in 1964, on the principles of “helping people to help themselves,” OIC serves as a catalyst, enabling its clients to establish and maintain critical job and life skills through professional development. OIC serves more than 1,500 individuals annually and has provided more than 18,000 client visitors basic training in computer and Internet technology since 2011. For more information, please visit: www.philaoic.org 

Posted by OIC Philadelphia

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