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Employment Skills Center: Serving the Community for 55 years!


Reverend Dr. Leon Sullivan founds the first Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) in an abandoned jailhouse in North Philadelphia. The OIC offers job and life skills training to the under-educated and disadvantaged and provides skilled workers for Philadelphia businesses. This model is soon adopted across the country and around the world.


Carlisle joins the adult education movement, and the Carlisle Area OIC opens its doors with two classrooms for typing and GED classes above a jewelry store downtown. Within two years, community support allows the OIC to move to larger facilities vacated by Carlisle Commercial College above the Carlisle Theater. Private contributions allow Carlisle OIC to purchase the site’s furniture, typewriters, and business machines. Carpentry students from Carlisle High School erect partitions to create classrooms and offices, and Cumberland County Commissioners agree to pay the rent for several years.


Carlisle Area OIC moves to a first-floor location, occupying a former pharmacy. The OIC offers recruiting, counseling, training, and job placement services.


Moving time again! National Guardsmen transport furniture, and inmates from Cumberland County Prison paint and erect partitions at our new site, 30 South Hanover Street, transforming the space from a retail store into a training center. An additional building at 216 East High Street houses building trades where students learn the basics of carpentry, plumbing, electricity, masonry, and metal work.


The Governor’s Special Grant Monies funds the INCITE, AIM, and PROBE programs to help ex-offenders enter the workforce.


An Adult Block Services Grant from the Department of Public Welfare through the Cumberland County Commissioners funds a new Career Assessment and Development program.


Eight area organizations partner with Carlisle OIC to create a new computer training program designed for individuals receiving public assistance.


Carlisle Area OIC celebrates its 20th anniversary, one of only ten OICs to do so that year. We reach another important milestone when the PA Department of Education grants us a license.


The PA Department of Education awards contracts to Carlisle OIC to teach Adult Literacy, Adult Basic Education, and GED preparation. Carlisle OIC also teaches Workforce Literacy to employees at C.H. Masland & Sons, a well-known local carpet manufacturer.


Carlisle OIC experiences an increased demand for services in the early 1990s, particularly for job training and re-training. After a successful Capital Fund Campaign, the Board of Carlisle OIC acquires a more spacious building at 29 South Hanover Street where we remain today.


The Whitaker Foundation awards a grant to equip and staff a computerized learning center allowing for more individualized training.


The Carlisle OIC establishes a Childcare Development Center through grants awarded by the G.B. Stuart Foundation, Cumberland County, and the PA Dept. of Community and Economic Development. The childcare center operates until 2005.


In response to the need for qualified workers in the growing healthcare field, Carlisle OIC introduces a pre-clinical Nurse Aide training program. The Center prepares individuals to successfully complete training as nursing assistants and provides the community with healthcare workers who take pride in their profession.


Times change, and so does our name! We are now known as the Employment Skills Center. Our mission is focused on education and training to prepare individuals for better employment.


In addition to our core offerings of Adult Literacy, Adult Basic Education, GED Preparation, and English as a Second Language (ESL), we offer Nurse Aide Pre-clinical Training, Workforce Development programming, and Computer Skills classes to meet the demands of today’s changing workplace. We partner with area agencies to expand our off-site programs to better meet the needs of our community.


It’s our golden anniversary! We have provided adult education and training to the greater Carlisle community for 50 years. We continue to build programs to meet the needs of area residents and employers and provide a second chance for adults who seek to improve their lives and the lives of their families.