OIC DCWorks: A Program That Really Works


In January of 2009 Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) launched a new program called OIC DCWorks, a comprehensive approach to address­ing the short and long term employment needs of DC’s Ward 8 residents. Setting out to service 200 adults with multiple barriers to employment, this intense Employment Training Program includes job readiness training, life skills training, customer service skills, computer literacy, conflict resolution, on-the job training, and job placement as­sistance. During the last two years OIC/DC numbers are impressive, having placed over 750 people into full-time positions, with a combined job placement rate of nearly 81%. OIC/DC also has served more than 1,720 participants in both their Youth and Adult Divisions.

OIC/DC’s Program Director for Youth Programs, Lisa Glenn, said that the program increased shortly after introduc­ing the DC Works program.“We have a program that the residents of DC need and thus, we decided to change our goals from 200 to 400 adults. ”OIC/DC also offers the following training programs; A+ Certification Computer Repair, Office Practices/Microsoft Office Specialist, Pre- Apprenticeship for Construction Trades, Weatherization/Solar Energy, Family Ser­vice Programs, An Ex-Offender Program, Life Skill & Job Placement Assistance and a Community-Out Reach Program, all free to DC residents.

“We are breading Costumer Ser­vice Specialists here at OIC/DC” says Ver­nard Portis, a case manager for OIC/DC’s Out of School Youth program. With nearly 6 years at the helm of OIC/DC’s youth pro­gram, Mr. Portis understands the challeng­es that youth today face. The purpose of the OIC/DC Training Center is not to only focus on job placement training for disad­vantaged youth and adults but to provide literacy, job readiness, and strength-based case management services to will position them to find jobs. The training program is conducted for 12 weeks, four hours a day. During this time, participants receive a stipend based on time and attendance. At the program’s conclusion participants are then placed in paid on-the-job train­ing with area employers.

OIC/DC is a licensed Post Second­ary Education Institution for non-degree students in the District of Columbia and a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization with more than 42 years of experience in pre­paring youth and adults for work and is a part of a network of 58 national affiliates.


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