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May 1, 2024


Celebrating our Future Workforce: OIC Philadelphia Hosts Spring Graduation

On Friday, April 25th, OIC Philadelphia proudly celebrated the accomplishments of over 100 graduates at PECO Energy Hall. This momentous occasion marked the completion of our latest workforce training programs, where each graduate received a well-earned certificate of completion. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Michele Wells-Bates, a dedicated OIC Philadelphia Board Member and PECO employee, whose efforts were instrumental in orchestrating this special day.

The ceremony was enriched by an inspiring keynote address from Erika Watkins, an OIC Philadelphia alum and current PECO employee. Erika shared her transformative journey through OIC Philadelphia's training programs and how they paved the way for her successful career at PECO, offering both inspiration and proof of the power of our programs.

Highlighting the event were two special award presentations. Elisabeth Sullivan, the granddaughter of our founder, Reverend Dr. Leon Sullivan, presented the Moving Mountains Award to Lonnel Duckett in recognition of his exceptional achievements and resilience. Additionally, Philadelphia’s own rapper, Freeway, graced the event to present the Sullivan Champion Award to Saquanna Daniels, celebrating her outstanding commitment and employment.

Adding to the festive atmosphere, the food was prepared by OIC Philadelphia alum and CEO of Amir's Kitchen LLC, Amir Jordan, whose culinary skills delighted guests and demonstrate the success of our training programs.

As OIC Philadelphia celebrates our 60th year, we are immensely proud to uphold the longstanding legacy and impact initiated by Reverend Dr. Leon Sullivan. This graduation ceremony not only commemorated the achievements of our newest graduates but also reinforces our commitment to empowering individuals and transforming lives through career training. Here’s to continuing this legacy and impacting many more lives in the years to come!

$250,000 Boost for Healthcare Training at OIC Philadelphia Thanks to Mayor Parker's Support

OIC Philadelphia has been a cornerstone of economic and social development in Philadelphia for over sixty years, standing at the crossroads of workforce development, social justice, and economic empowerment. Our mission is focused on combating poverty within specific zip codes, where we strive to make a significant impact.

We are excited to announce a $250,000 investment into our healthcare training programs, generously supported by Mayor Parker. This investment is crucial as we continue to address the severe health and mental health disparities that disproportionately affect economically disadvantaged communities, issues that were starkly highlighted during the pandemic.

With this new funding, OIC Philadelphia is expanding its healthcare training offerings, which include phlebotomy, administrative medical assisting, and clinical assisting. We are also proud to introduce a pioneering initiative—the Behavioral Health Aid Pilot Program. This program is aimed at addressing the urgent need for mental health professionals and enhancing the well-being of the communities we serve.

Mayor Parker’s support not only bolsters our existing programs but also affirms OIC Philadelphia’s pivotal role as a catalyst for health and equity in the city. Our commitment extends beyond training; we are dedicated to ensuring our community's health needs are comprehensively met.

Financial Literacy Month at OIC

Thanks to a generous investment from Lincoln Financial Group, we’ve woven financial literacy into the fabric of all our workforce training programs. This strategic enhancement is part of our commitment to offer holistic support, recognizing economic empowerment as a cornerstone of personal growth.

Since the start of 2024, we’ve made remarkable strides by transitioning 95 participants from being unbanked to opening their own bank accounts. This pivotal step is crucial in our participants' paths to financial stability. By partnering with Fulton Bank and utilizing OIC’s stipend/incentive policy, we’re shifting financial practices from expensive check cashing services to more economical and efficient banking methods, including ACH and direct deposits.

Our journey doesn’t stop here. We are on a mission to dismantle financial barriers and pave the way for wealth-building within our community!

OIC Philadelphia Hosts Spring Career Fair

Earlier this month, OIC Philadelphia hosted a Career Fair as an opportunity for job seekers to connect directly with leading employers in the skilled trades industry and explore various promising career paths.

We deeply appreciate the commitment of our employer partners who participated in the event, offering insights and opportunities to those eager to advance their careers.

A special thank you goes to all the attendees whose enthusiasm and engagement throughout the fair were truly inspiring. Your eagerness to learn more about the skilled trades and to take steps toward your future careers is exactly why we host these events. At OIC Philadelphia, our goal is to bridge the gap between talent and opportunity, ensuring that our community members have the support they need to thrive. Stay tuned for more exciting initiatives and opportunities on the horizon at OIC Philadelphia. Together, we are building a stronger, more skilled community. We look forward to welcoming even more of you to our future events!

Culinary Students attend Chefs Warehouse Culinary Expo at Lincoln Financial Field 

Our culinary students at OIC Philadelphia recently had the extraordinary opportunity to attend the Chefs' Warehouse 2024 Philadelphia Culinary Expo, hosted at Lincoln Financial Field. The event was a cornucopia of flavor and innovation, setting the stage for a day of learning, tasting, and networking.

Amidst the buzz of the expo, our students rubbed elbows with some of the industry’s most esteemed chefs, sampled a smorgasbord of cutting-edge cuisine, and got a firsthand look at the culinary arts and trends shaping the gastronomic world. It was an invaluable experience that went beyond the kitchen, enriching their understanding of the food industry's dynamic nature.

From live demonstrations to the latest in kitchen technology, our students absorbed every bit of knowledge. They returned to OIC Philadelphia brimming with inspiration and new ideas to incorporate into their culinary creations. We're incredibly proud of the enthusiasm and passion our students displayed at the expo. Their participation is a testament to their dedication to culinary excellence and their potential to become Philadelphia’s next top chefs.


MSN: Philadelphia Hopes to put some 250 residents to work with $1.2 million in grants to 4 nonprofits

PhilaWorks Invests $365,048 into OIC Philadelphia's Clean Energy Training Programs

In a pivotal moment for economic development and sustainability within Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Works, Inc. made a landmark contribution to our clean energy efforts. OIC Philadelphia was honored to be the recipient of a $365,000 check, graciously awarded by President & CEO Patrick Clancy and his team. This substantial funding is earmarked for programming that catalyzes job growth in the clean energy sector, underscoring the collaborative strides we are making alongside Mayor Parker, Governor Shapiro, and PECO to spur clean energy job creation in the Greater Philadelphia area.

The occasion was made even more memorable by the presence of an OIC alum from the SETT (Smart Energy Technical Training) Program. Their success story, now flourishing in the clean energy field, offered a firsthand testament to the program's impact and potential. This support enhances our ability to empower the community through sustainable job opportunities and to foster a greener future for our city.

Empathy, Not Sympathy, In Workforce Development

In a recent discussion with Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan, Sheila Ireland, President and CEO of OIC Philadelphia, emphasized the organization's pivotal role in Philadelphia's workforce training landscape. Moving beyond simply finding jobs for the unemployed, Sheila highlights the importance of aligning job opportunities with personal visions and recognizing the unique value each individual brings to the community.

With over three decades of experience in human resources and workforce training, Ms. Ireland is dedicated to using workforce development as a tool for economic empowerment and to address social injustices. Under her leadership, OIC is actively tackling the challenges of poverty and unemployment. By setting high expectations for clients and cultivating strategic partnerships with the private sector, OIC ensures that job readiness and career advancement are within reach for all participants.

Listen to the full podcast interview here

Upcoming Programs

Ready for your next opportunity? We are beginning to accept applications for the Spring Sessions:

  • Digital Media & Audio Engineering
  • Culinary Arts
  • Smart Energy Technical Training (SETT)
  • Bankwork$
Posted by Nadaysha Screven

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