WEST CHESTER (August 5) – State Senator Andy Dinniman recently recognized officials from the Chester County Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) on the organization’s 35th anniversary and for their work in helping reintegrate veterans into the workforce.


Pictured (from left to right) Joyce Chester, President and CEO of Chester County OIC; Tampa Scott; Senator Dinniman and Chris Pielli, OIC case manager.

“The Chester County OIC provides valuable services and programs to assist residents in education, career training and development,” Dinniman said. “I want to thank the staff and volunteers of the OIC for all of their hard work in helping connect residents with employment and offer my best wishes on the OIC’s 35th anniversary.”

The nonprofit organization, which has offices in West Chester and Phoenixville, is dedicated to providing free literacy education, life skills and career programs to help prepare individuals for employment and economic self-sufficiency.

Chester County OIC serves more than 800 individuals a year in several programs and with various partners including, La Comunidad Hispana, Lincoln University’s Coatesville Campus and the Chester County Intermediate Unit.

One of the OIC’s successful programs is the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program, which has served 85 veterans, according to case manager Chris Pielli.

“We have been able to help 25 veterans secure employment and assist 71 with job training or job locating based on their options,” he added. “As a veteran myself, I admire many of these men and women as great examples of resolution and perseverance in the face of substantial barriers and obstacles.”

One of those aided by the OIC, is Army veteran Tampa Scott. Scott recently recounted his experiences at the OIC and urged others to seek help from the organization in a poem entitled, “The O.I.C.” that won the Coatesville Veterans Administration’s Poetry Contest.

“They blessed me with a second chance to get things right. And I’m going to work hard both day and night. The thing I like about the O.I.C. is the fact that they really cared about me. I can now join the world and live on life’s terms,” he wrote.

Joyce Chester, President and CEO of Chester County OIC, said that despite the threat of funding cuts, the organization will continue to strive to help as many people as possible. “Our motto is ‘putting people first,’ she said.

“Our goal is to help people help themselves and to give them the skills to get their lives and careers back on track. The need does not go away.”

Chester County OIC’s 35th Gala Celebration is set for October 24 at the Desmond.

For more information, contact the OIC at (610) 692-3244 or visit www.ccoic.org.

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